RB Search Gizmos

Turn Wikipedia into an RSS Search Engine With WikiRSS

RSS is still the most underrated tech on the Internet. I am constantly amazed about all the lip-curling and “dead technology” derision toward something without which I could literally not do my self-appointed job. RSS is an unbeatable way to monitor information from specific Web sources and even by keyword.

Actually, I think that’s why some parties sneer at it. After all, to use RSS is to curate your own experience of the Internet via a myriad of blogs and websites. The only limit is your own preferences and knowledge – no algorithmic gatekeeper stands in your way. You can consume RSS feeds via any number of feed readers and managers; you’re not tied to a single platform with the constant threat of either subscription fees or unrelenting marketing hanging over your head. And identity verification is as simple as checking the domain name of where the feed comes from.

Great for users. Not-so-great for social media companies who would prefer to corral us on one site and then beat us over the head with targeted advertising.

Lately, as Twitter continues to deconstruct into some kind of Il Paese dei Balocchi fever dream, I’ve noticed more interest in RSS feeds. And yesterday I noticed that Wikidata has a property for RSS feeds (P1019). So I thought: why don’t I knock together a Wikipedia-based RSS search engine?

And now there is WikiRSS ( https://searchgizmos.com/wikirss/ ) .

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Using WikiRSS

WikiRSS searches the name and description of Wikipedia pages with RSS feeds and returns a list of pages matching your query along with their feeds. A page name and description isn’t a lot of text – maybe a tweet’s worth? – so make sure your searches are single-keyword and general. Instead of cows, search for agriculture. Instead of astronauts, search for space. Here’s what a search for plants looks like:

Screenshot from 2023-03-19 15-14-00

And here’s Ubuntu:

Screenshot from 2023-03-19 15-17-27

WikiRSS isn’t going to bury you in feeds – I don’t get the impression lots of Wikipedia pages have feeds associated with them – but I think there’s enough to warrant exploring.

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