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Tip of The Day - Create an RSS feed with any Website (Create Online Classifieds RSS Feed)

Here is a hypothetical situation (not really, I was in this exact situation for the past three weeks). Suppose you are looking for a really sweet deal for a DSLR camera or perhaps a phone. You want the cheapest possible so you obviously are looking for something used. Perhaps online classifieds. Well, to make sure that you are the fist person to find the sweet deal, you need to check the online classifieds frequently. Too bad there is not a way to set up something that would search for you and come up in your RSS feed reader....  bwa ha ha!  THERE IS! After three weeks of searching, I have found the solution and will share it with you.

A few days ago I discovered a website called Dapper. This website allows you to create an RSS or XML feed from virtually any website. If you don't use an RSS feed reader (you should) you may wonder why this is even useful. Let me mention of few reasons why this is something you should do:
  • You can set up custom classified searches to show up in your feed when and item is available for your specifications.
  • You can go to an online job board and have the new jobs show up in your feed reader.
  • On sites that only have one section that interests you, you can set it up so only that part shows up in your feed.
  • You could set up feeds for certain forum posts.
  • Watch prices on Ebay.
Recently I have been looking for certain deals online. Craigslist is good and already allows you to have an RSS feed for search criteria, but here in Utah, KSL Classifieds is much better. Unfortunately, KSL does not allow you to have an RSS feed for search criteria. I tried Yahoo Pipes to set something up, but it did not work too well and was a bit confusing. After many hours of searching, I finally stumbled on Dapper. This site lets you easily set up an RSS feed from a website. Their website offers detailed instructions, but in a nutshell here is what you do using Dapper:

  • Select a website you wish to use to create your feed.
  • Select and name elements within the page you want to show up in your feed.
  • Group and organize the elements to appear in your RSS feed.
  • Save and export your new feed.
It is super simple and wonderful! Here is the Dapp I created for KSL classifieds. Look at the window at the bottom right of the screen and you will see what shows up in your feed. (One thing I noticed is that when you want to do custom input, it works better if you select the radio for URL and type your keyword after "search=" For example: "search=phone" will bring up anything with phone in the feed)

It did take me a few trys to get my Dapp to work correctly, but since I have figured it out, it has been incredible! If you are a lover of feeds, you should definitely try Dapper out!

About McKay Christensen

After having lived in Oregon, Alaska, and China for the past 10 years doing landscape design and English teaching, I have returned to my home state of Utah and currently work for a growing tech company.

In my free time I enjoy working on my TutorialGeek.net website where I post tutorials and reviews (and anything else I think is geeky) and I also like to write songs for my Super English Kid Youtube channel.

My favorite things to do include anything with my wife and son. Hiking, camping, and photography (or anything else outdoors). Playing Ultimate Frisbee or Ping Pong. Listening to 60s, 70s, or 80s, music. 

Feel free to contact me using my contact page. I would love to hear from any of you!

3 comments:

  1. Hi there... I'm trying to do the same thing as you did but when trying using your dapp I couldn't get any results to load from the KSL classifieds. Any ideas?

    ReplyDelete
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