RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, is still the best way to keep up with a particular news source, even if social networking is closing in. Far too often however, RSS feeds for a particular website are buried and hard to find, if they can be found at all. That’s when it’s nice to search for a given feed directly.
We’ve highlighted a number of RSS search engines in the past, but none as clean as ctrlQ.org. As recently announced by Digital Inspiration, this site uses the Google Feeds API to make searching for a particular RSS feed not only possible but simple.
Using this search engine isn’t all that different from using Google or Bing; just type what you’re looking for. Unlike other engines though, you’re not looking for a specific page: you’re looking for a specific feed. For example, you might be looking for the greatest podcast in the history of humanity:
As an aside, this particular podcast is much easier to find here than anywhere else, I should add, because of the Times of London’s poorly done paywall. Their New York namesake did a much better job with their paywall.
Once you find a particular RSS feed, you can preview its contents:
I like this feature; it’s a good way to check for new articles when I’m away from my feedreader.
Do you use a cloud-based feedreader? Good news: there’s a simple way to add feeds you find:
Use these buttons to quickly add your feed. If you use a desktop reader, sadly, you’ll need to do some copying and pasting, but that’s not so terrible a burden.
Search Like A Pro
If this were everything here I don’t think I’d write up this site. Happily it isn’t. With the use of a few clever search modifiers, you can use this tool to find all kinds of obscure feeds you never knew existed. For example, did you know that the New York Times has an ice hockey feed?
Me neither, but it does. You can search any site for any topic this way; just use the prefix “site:” followed by a particular website, as shown above.
There are other clever uses, of course. One example given on ctrlQ’s homepage is “google inurl:twitter.com”, which allows you to find all of the Google employees on Twitter. How does this work? It shows every Twitter feed with “Google” in the profile. The prefix “inurl” means a given word in the URL of a given feed.
Another useful prefix is “allintitle:”, which allows you to find the best RSS feeds with a given word in the title.
This is going to be my new go-to place to find particular RSS feeds, including podcasts. I’m interested – can you think of a use for such a service? Let me know in the comments below. Also feel free to share the best RSS feeds you find with the service; we love discovering new things.