Sunday, December 7, 2008

RSS and Kiva

A brief description of RSS and how to used it is posted next. Make sure to use this tool in order to receive up to date information about Mexican entrepreneurs seeking loans on Kiva. I'm currently using Thunderbird 2.0 to receive Kiva's RSS feeds into my mailbox, just like regular emails, and this blog is using RSS too: on the right side of this blog, immediately after Kiva Links, new information about Mexican entrepreneurs is posted as they are published in Kiva.

What is RSS Feed?

Given the vast number of Web pages and content providers on the Internet, RSS technology allows you to identify the content that interests you most and have it delivered directly to your desktop. Thousands of sites have developed feeds and you can view them all, regardless of source, using any feed reader. The most popular and descriptive definition of RSS is "Really Simple Syndication." You can think of a Web site's feed as a text broadcast of the site's content. Once you subscribe to a feed, you'll always have the latest headlines because your RSS reader periodically retrieves the most recent feed additions.

Where can I get an RSS reader?

There are many kinds of readers, from stand-alone applications to Web-based services, to those built into a Web browser. You will either need to download and install an application or install an RSS-ready browser on your computer. Follow the instructions provided on the Web sites listed below to install or configure your reader. Most of the applications are free and easy to use. Some of the more popular RSS readers:

The following Web browsers have built-in feed readers

Mozilla Firefox (Windows, Mac, Linux)
Opera (Windows, Mac, Linux)
Internet Explorer 7.0 (Windows)
Safari (Mac)

E-mail Programs
The following e-mail programs have built-in feed readers

Mozilla Thunderbird (Windows, Mac, Linux)
Outlook 2007 (Windows)
IntraVnews (Windows, plug-in for Microsoft Outlook)
R|Mail (Web-based service that sends feeds to any email account)

Web-Based Services
All of these services are free, and will work with any recent Web browser. All require registration and show ads as you read your feeds.

My Yahoo
Google Reader

Desktop Applications
These programs run on your computer, and will check feeds automatically whenever they're running. Those marked with a "$" are commercial software; the others are available for free.

Omea Reader (Windows)
SharpReader (Windows)
FeedDemon (Windows, $)
NewzCrawler (Windows, $)
NetNewsWire Lite (Mac)
NetNewsWire (Mac, $)

There is no need to install new software on your computer, you are most likely using a browser than can read RSS feeds right now.

How does Kiva uses RSS?

Kiva does provide RSS feeds. These feeds can easily be used to instantly deliver information about entrepreneurs into a RSS reader.

Currently, two field partners operate in Mexico, each one of them have a web page on Kiva that provides a RSS feed. All that you need to do is either click on the RSS orange button under the section "Kiva Fundraising Status"on the right side of the page; or provide the RSS address of each field partner to your chosen RSS reader. The web pages of these field partners and their corresponding RSS addresses are:

Fundacion Realidad.
RSS feed:

Fundacion para la Vivienda Progresiva
RSS feed:

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