Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Searching RSS feeds

Well I am doing some work for an aquaculture organization here in Bangkok, pretty interesting work at times. On of the things I am to do is find and summarize articles relating to aquaculture and the Tsunami. This is not as boring/arduous for me as it might be for some, in my free time I spend quite a bit of time searching for and reading about topics (usually Ag or Tech related) so this is not much different except I must do it now and I have to find new information every day, I am finding out that this is somewhat of a challenge. The other day (when I was given the assignment) I started off using Yahoo news XML Search results (and Google News Alerts but not nearly as helpful as RSS) using the following string

Tsunami aquaculture OR fishermen OR fishing OR coral OR fish OR shrimp OR export OR "seafood trade" OR prawn

, damn that was nice (Though it would be *much* nicer if I could use some regular expressions). I was flooded with stuff, and used Thunderbird to sift through them. I had a bunch of results tailored to my topic of interest and it gave me quick summaries of each, I could plow through all that info really fast... but two problems have since occurred. One, copyrights; they think there might be copyright problems with posting summaries of news from other news sources. I would think that there wouldn't be a problem so long as we don't post the whole article and do put the source and the URL. The other, and related problem, is they want me to use Lexis Nexis; that really isn't a problem other than I get the impression (I could be wrong) that the processes wouldn't be as streamlined as the RSS method I have come up with, no biggie though (plus I haven't tried it yet so perhaps it will be easier).