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Tag Archive: RSS

Keeping an Eye on Data.gov

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One thing that's curiously missing from Data.gov is an RSS feed for new data feeds. Sort of shockingly, and glaringly left out. We were disappointed, and didn't want to wait. Scraping here is such an easy thing to do that we decided to just build our own. Sunlight Labs' James Turk did it, and it's handy. Here's the feed and here's the source that makes the feed. This should be useful to anyone who wants to see what new stuff is coming out of Data.gov.

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Political Web Innovations

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The political Web continues to grow as new databases are established every week regularly using new technologies to present important information. I came across three new Web sites, one government and two from nonprofits, today and figured I'd pass them along. The first is the Government Printing Office's online guide to members of Congress. The GPO's online guide allows users to search members of Congress by a number of categories, including name, hometown, terms served, and more. The database is fairly rudimentary but it does allow someone to do quick searches for members from a particular state or see how many members have served for 5 terms. This is good step for GPO as it shows that they looking towards using the Web to project information; all they need is to add more search categories and more information for the member profiles. More links to more information makes the data more useful.

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Library of Congress Website Upgrade

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Via the Library of Congress blog, it looks like the LOC Website will be getting an upgrade in the coming weeks. They make a good point about choosing between providing RSS feeds and email updates, noting that many more people use email than RSS:

While only a fraction of people on the Web use RSS feeds, something like 100 percent of them use email, and this is just another part of our efforts to get information to people in the way that is most useful to them. You can get a sense for how the email updates will function by looking at the FBI’s Web site.

Happily, they’re not choosing between the two, and have a pretty broad set of RSS feeds already on offer on their RSS page.

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