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News aggregators

News aggregatorsIn computing, an aggregator software braid several syndication contents together. It notify the update of a website or news to publish (by sound, visual, etc.). Also, it imports the new content in question and he does it for a set of sites.

The term is also used more generally for an activity designed to consolidate multiple sizes or flow into one, such as the aggregation of load management.


The aggregator is a kind of “postman” that will get the mail out, then will give it to the recipient, avoiding for the latter to regularly visit many websites for the news. It works much like an e-mail (almost real time) but (unlike a mail client), the user of an aggregator is often limited to passive reading of the received messages (the “thread” of syndication). He can not ‘respond’ to the items received. There are some exceptions in the case of tickets blogs, where some aggregators allow you to post comments. An aggregator can process a specially structured information, with a particular technology.

Content sources (websites in general) provide the address of a RSS feed updated more or less regularly. This first phase, called “content syndication” structure data to the aggregator. Aggregation is to subscribe to one or more of these syndication feeds. The aggregator detects their updates and alerts the user immediately, without having to regularly visit the websites, disseminating the syndication feed whom he has subscribed. Each thread is associated with a folder in the aggregator, the folder that contains the different inputs thread – often in reverse chronological order (newest entries first). The detection of new items in a wire is periodic, or performed at the request of the user can whenever he wants to update all or part of its subscriptions.

In general, an aggregator can view a list of saved feeds, sorted alphabetically or by topic. For each thread, the n-last elements are listed (n selected by the user or set). For each item (ticket, article …) can display a summary or full content. Thus, the user may be required to leave his aggregator to read the content on the site where he was published, or make the entire reading in its software.


Aggregators dealing structured syndication feeds interpret, for most client software, text files of tagged content. XML is widely used for the RSS and Atom feed type, for example. Not to be confused with the curators whose business is to operate an intelligent sort of web content, although they can be complementary.


The syndication feeds are widely used on blogs: each new article is posted and transmitted in near real-time to its subscribers over the feeds, that can read it directly in their aggregator. This monitoring mode begins to be adopted by mass-media news sites, such as online newspapers, whose content, renewed arbitrarily or by cycles, can be grouped into topics by the user. Most aggregators make it possible to facilitate the monitoring of these feeds by categorizing them into folders and subfolders.

Syndication and aggregation are the two sides of the same idea, which wants to offer to the user a decentralization of contents created in isolated internet points, it must be transmitted through the mesh of the network in a simple way, and it must also be grouped to the user and reader, in arbitrary topics without losing its coherence. The aggregator is trying to facilitate the organization of content, in addition to being a time tracking tool.

Interface for access to services

The storing of the feeds is done in two ways:

  • by software running locally, to be installed;
  • by registration in the management and feed sharing sites. The aggregator is then a web application, not a traditional software. This avoids having to use a specific feed creation software for each operating system (Feed Editor, RSS Wizard, Feed Mix on Windows) which all require the XML file to be filed online by FTP to be accessible by the Internet users by the HTTP protocol. They fit into the concept of “remote work” initiated by WebDAV and the content management systems strongly using the concept of thin clients, based on AJAX (JavaScript).

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