Friday, October 4, 2013

Alternative to Google Reader Search

For a variety of reasons RSS aggregators didn't hit the main stream even with those who work in the IT field. I had been using RSS aggregators for quite some time to keep myself updated with the latest in the Technology.

Now that the Google Reader has been sunset, a lot of alternate RSS aggregators have been popping up. The demise of once dominant Google Reader really opened market for others. I tried a couple of RSS aggregators and finally settled with Feedly.
Feedly is a nice RSS aggregator which has almost all the features of the Google Reader. Feedly recently even opened the API for other applications to be built upon the Feedly platform. But, one of the features I really miss in Google Reader is searching through the subscribed feeds instead of the entire internet. Google Reader was really good at it, with an option for searching through a subset of feeds which came very handy.

Feedly didn't have initially have this feature, but later it had been introduced through Feedly Pro, which is a paid service. So, I was looking for some alternatives to the Google Reader search feature. Google Custom Search Engine (CSE) is an alternative for searching through a bunch of sites. Here is a CSE created using the below mentioned sites.
Below is the sequence of steps to move the feeds from Feedly to Google CSE. The problem with this approach it that Feedly and Google CSE are seperate data islands and any feed subscribed in Feedly needs to be included in Google CSE manually. The process is a bit cumbersome, but worth the effort.

- Export the feeds from Feedly to an OPML file. Here is how to do it.

- Run the below script to extract the feeds from the opml file. Note than some of the feeds will be extracted as ``which needs be modified into the actual site ``.
grep xmlUrl feedly.opml | perl -ne 'if(/xmlUrl=\"(.+?)"/){print "$1\n"}'
- Once the feeds have been extracted and modified, export them in Google CSE in bulk as mentioned here.

- Extract the Public URL to search through the feeds added in the earlier step.

Voila, here are the results from the custom search for the word Bitcoin.
Please let me know in the comments if there any better alternatives for solving this problem and I will update the blog accordingly.

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