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Do you sit there refreshing the DVDActive homepage waiting for an update? Have you given up, and only check our website infrequently? We might have the answer - Twitter or XML syndication.

Explain Twitter


Twitter is a micro blogging service that you can sign up for and then use for free. This service allows members to post updates about their everyday activities as Tweets. These Tweets can be anything from describing something unusual, to asking a question. As a member you may have a number of people following you and you may be following other people. If someone follows you, their main Twitter page will list your Tweets amongst their other followers' Tweets.

This makes Twitter an ideal option to digest the most significant announcements on DVDActive and, as such, we update a DVDActive account for Twitter members to follow: http://twitter.com/dvdactive

Various software based clients exist that give Twitter members access to the service in a more convenient and digestible fashion. For desktops you might consider: Twirl, Twitterific and TweetDeck. For the iPhone try: Tweetie or Twitterific. For Java based phones, try Twim or Tiny Twitter. There are far more clients than we can mention here, so if none of the above suit your taste then try searching for more.

Trillian

So what is XML syndication?


Firstly, don't be put off by the name. XML syndication is actually a very simple and quick method of staying up to date with your favourite websites. To do this you need two things: something called a news aggregator and then the locations of special files (normally called feeds) that this aggregator will be made to check on a regular basis.

Our feeds are listed further down this page. As soon as you find an aggregator that suits your taste, simply scroll down to the table containing lots of little orange icons here and read the descriptive paragraphs above it.

Now is the slightly daunting part, there are a surprisingly large number of news aggregators to choose from - not only that but there are various types! We'll point out the four main groups and let you discover others on your own, they are: dedicated aggregators, software with built-in aggregators, software with can be expanded to work as an aggregator and finally web based aggregators. Again, don't be put off by the terminology, it's all quite simple.

Give me some examples!
Let's start with the easiest options, the web based aggregator. All of the big Internet search companies provide this such as AOL, Google,  MSN and Yahoo! - they label them as "my page" or "personalised homepage". The reason they offer this service is to get you to return to their website on a regular basis by providing the headlines that you want. These services are normally linked to a free web based email account that you'll need to sign up for. To add our feeds to any of the above portals, simply click on one of the orange icons here  and select the appropriate "Add to..." link on the right hand side. If you are using the Opera web browser - it doesn't support the page containing these "Add to..." options so you'll have to search for DVDActive from the service itself. Google actually has two options: a standard homepage and a flashy new dedicated web based aggregator - which you may like to try.
My MSN
Next is software designed for something else but just so happens to have XML syndication features. For example Firefox (a web browser), Opera (a web browser) and Thunderbird (an email client). For Thunderbird you create a new account as if you were adding a new email account but instead select RSS, and then on the folder options use the manage subscriptions selection to enter our feed address. For Firefox you just add the feeds as "live bookmarks", which is a small icon that appears near the address bar on most of our homepages. Opera on the other hand simply requires that you click on one of the appropriate icons here  and you will be prompted to subscribe. Internet Explorer will support this feature in the upcoming version.

Another option is software plugins, Trillian is one of the most popular instant messenger clients on Microsoft Windows and the best example of this. If you own a version of Trillian Pro (the non-free version) then look for the News plugin. Once installed just enter the URL of the feed into the plugin preferences and whenever we post a news item or review, a small "toaster" box will appear on the right of your screen for a few seconds with a summary of the headline - clicking it will take you to the page on DVDActive.

Finally we have the dedicated aggregators. If you have ever used an email client or a newsgroup reader then you may prefer this method. That said, dedicated software is less popular at present since XML syndication features tend to be built into everything. Here's several examples to try: FeedReader, BitCast, BlogBridge, SharpReader, RSS Xpress, Newsplorer and Snarfer.

DVDActive's Feeds


We offer a large selection of feeds to support many different tastes, from those dedicated to North American Easter Eggs to News in general. We also offer them in two different flavours of XML, the more modern Atom (1.0) and the old fashioned RSS (2.0). Unless otherwise stated by your software, RSS is the recommended option because it is currently better supported.

Simply look for the appropriate icon and add the feed to your news aggregator using your preferred method. "Home" is the ideal feed for anyone unsure of what option to choose, it encompasses many general interest categories including: news, reviews, editorials and competitions. At present there are three geographic groups (where supported) that mirror the functionality of the DVDActive website: North America (United States and Canada), Rest of the World (everyone except North America) and Everywhere (the previous two combined).

 

Feed Description

North America

Rest of the World

Everywhere

 

Home

RSS Atom
RSS Atom
RSS Atom
 

News - All Categories

RSS Atom
RSS Atom
RSS Atom
 

News - DVD Releases

RSS Atom
RSS Atom
RSS Atom
 

Reviews - All Categories

RSS Atom
RSS Atom
RSS Atom
 

Reviews - DVD Reviews

RSS Atom
RSS Atom
RSS Atom
 

Reviews - Music Reviews

n/a n/a
n/a n/a
RSS Atom
 

Reviews - Technology

n/a n/a
n/a n/a
RSS Atom
 

Editorial - All Categories

n/a n/a
n/a n/a
RSS Atom
 

Editorial - Articles

n/a n/a
n/a n/a
RSS Atom
 

Editorial - Interviews

n/a n/a
n/a n/a
RSS Atom
 

Competitions

RSS Atom
RSS Atom
RSS Atom
 

Easter Eggs

RSS Atom
RSS Atom
RSS Atom
 

Player Hacks

n/a n/a
n/a n/a
RSS Atom


 

Feed Description

United Kingdom

Rest of the World

Everywhere

 

Home

RSS Atom
RSS Atom
RSS Atom
 

News - All Categories

RSS Atom
RSS Atom
RSS Atom
 

News - DVD Releases

RSS Atom
RSS Atom
RSS Atom
 

Reviews - All Categories

RSS Atom
RSS Atom
RSS Atom
 

Reviews - DVD Reviews

RSS Atom
RSS Atom
RSS Atom
 

Reviews - Music Reviews

n/a n/a
n/a n/a
RSS Atom
 

Reviews - Technology

n/a n/a
n/a n/a
RSS Atom
 

Editorial - All Categories

n/a n/a
n/a n/a
RSS Atom
 

Editorial - Articles

n/a n/a
n/a n/a
RSS Atom
 

Editorial - Interviews

n/a n/a
n/a n/a
RSS Atom
 

Competitions

RSS Atom
RSS Atom
RSS Atom
 

Easter Eggs

RSS Atom
RSS Atom
RSS Atom
 

Player Hacks

n/a n/a
n/a n/a
RSS Atom


Commercial Usage
A common use of these services is to insert latest news or reviews into an area of a web page on another site. To do this you must have a good understanding of how to successfully: retrieve, parse and cache an XML data feed. Please check your programming language's documentation for more information. Please make sure your system caches a copy no more than once every fifteen minutes.

Bespoke Solution
If for some reason the data provided is not in a suitable format or volume for your purposes, then please contact us to discuss further.

Traditional Syndication
To discuss issues relating to partial or full reproduction of articles, reviews, news items and other items of content available from DVDActive for whatever purpose please contact us.