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Struggling to keep up with the news? Christopher Scanlon shows how you can create your own source of online news using Good Noows.

It’s your first day enrolled in a journalism degree and your lecturer has told you to read at least one newspaper everyday.

‘A newspaper a day!’, you think. ‘How am I supposed to read a newspaper a day while keeping up with the course reading, surfing the web, entering Facebook updates, tweeting and going to the pub?’

What if there was a web service that pulled together not just one newspaper, but as many online news services, magazines, blogs, and Facebook feeds that you could poke a cyber-stick at?

Good news! There’s Good Noows, a fully customisable, web-based RSS reader. Good Noows allows you to create your very own news page from any website that has an RSS feed.

You may be saying to yourself at this point ‘RSS? That is soooooooo 2005’.

Alternatively, you may be thinking ‘RSS? What’s RSS? More to the point, is it contagious?’

For the uninitiated RSS stands for ‘Really Simple Syndication’  or ‘Rich Site Summary’. It’s a way of publishing frequently update information on the internet. Users can subscribe to an RSS feed to get updates of new content on a site. Think Twitter, but dispersed across millions of different sites. These days, RSS is on pretty much every news site on the internet, from the lowliest blog to the New Yorker.

While RSS is handy, it’s also pretty ugly and, to my mind at least, not particularly from a reader’s point of view.

This is where Good Noows is different. Unlike RSS services such as Google Reader or those built into browser and email, Good Noows’ newspaper-like layout presents RSS information in a form that’s easy to scan through.

And best of all, if you’re on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or have a Gmail account, you already have a Good Noows account. Just click on the appropriate icon on the Good Noows homepage and use your existing login details to get started with Good Noows.

Good Noows comes with whole host of news services, but you can customise it to your heart’s content.

Just click ‘Settings’ at the top right of screen, and then click ‘Add custom source’. Put in a search term, check the box and then add it to a topic. Alternatively, you can add your own custom topic, such as ‘Herald Sun’ or ‘The Age’ and search for the RSS feed.

If you can’t find the RSS feed you’re after, do Google search on the publication’s name and ‘RSS‘ — ‘The Australian’ + ‘RSS’ for example. You’ll find a whole stack of RSS feeds which look like web addresses but tupically end in .xml or . rss. (Or, see the list at the bottom of this article). Copy and paste the address into the ‘Add custom source’ field in Good Noows and you’re away.

If you don’t like Good Noow’s default layout, never fear. There are nine others to choose from, including a glossy magazine theme and a twitter-style layout.

Once you’ve invested the time in setting up Good Noows, you’ll never have to go to six different websites to know what’s going on in the world. Just open Good Noows, scan through all the papers, read the summaries and click on anything that takes your fancy.

You’ll be reading more news than you ever thought possible, and that means more time at the pub.

RSS Feeds to Australian newspapers and news services

ABC News

SKY News



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