CtrlQ Finds Otherwise Hidden RSS Feed Addresses

Q: I've started reading a lot of RSS feeds, but am having trouble finding some addresses for popular websites. I don't really see the point of setting up my Google Reader if I can only read some sites there. Is there a solution?

RSSSearch.jpg

A: I'm obsessed with Google Reader. I use the tool, tied to my Google account, to scan through hundreds of feeds that have been carefully sorted into dozens of folders -- technology, music, media, politics, etc. -- over a number of years. It's gotten to the point where I feel I know what only a few websites even look like. I miss the little design tweaks and updates, but I don't have time for that. With RSS, I can consume thousands of stories every week. And that's why it's frustrating when I stumble upon a new site, decide I want to add it to my collection of feeds and can't find the RSS information. Where's the link?

I get it. If I scroll through your RSS feed and rarely visit the site, you don't get to count my valuable pageviews. But if you don't have an RSS feed, chances are that I'm not going to read your site at all; I'll find an alternative or I'll forget about it completely.

There's a new single-purpose tool, CtrlQ, that has been built to find RSS feed addresses that are otherwise hidden. "The site's only purpose is to search for RSS feeds, so the only results you'll get for any search term will be sites that have an available feed for you to follow," Lifehacker's Matthew Rogers explained. "You can also subscribe to or preview any listed feed from within the search results, which is pretty useful when you're mowing through dozens of related feeds. It's also very quick, since it uses the Google Feeds API for the actual data and jQuery for feed previews."

The great thing about CtrlQ is that you don't have to be searching for a specific RSS feed; it'll help you find others to follow. Search for an individual (searching my name pulls up the feed for The Atlantic's Technology Channel as well as my personal author feed for Atlas Obscura, a site I edit) or a topic. Search "technology," for example, will lead you to coverage of the topic by NPR and the New York Times and the feed for MIT's Technology Review.

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More questions? View the complete Toolkit archive.

H/T Digital Inspiration.

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Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

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