What makes Remembary different from other iPad diaries is that it brings in outside information and organizes it by day - to give your diary entries more context. Remembary uses many different sources for this outside information: Facebook, Twitter and RSS feeds. You probably know what Facebook and Twitter are, but you might not be familiar with RSS.

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, and is a standard format for time-related content on the internet. Many web sites and other internet-based data services provide RSS "feeds" - specially-formatted documents - that can be downloaded and read by reader software.

RSS documents are different from regular web pages because they are time based. Each item inside an RSS feed has a timestamp which lets RSS reader software tell when that item was posted. This makes RSS feeds a natural fit for things like blogs, news sites, and social media applications.

Every RSS feed has a unique address - for example, the Remembary Blog RSS feed is at http://www.remembary.com/blog/rss.xml

Here's a big list of RSS feeds that might be useful for Remembary.

To add a feed to Remembary, simply tap on the "Journal Prefs" box and enter the feed address into one of the "RSS Feeds:" fields. You can use copy-and-paste or simply type in the feed address. When you tap outside of the Prefs box, Remembary will try to connect to the feed, import all of the items, and assign them to the appropriate dates. Remembary lets you know what it's doing through small text messages on the right side of the page header - look for an error message up here if you don't seem to be getting any feed items.

Some RSS feeds include long blog posts, full-length articles, pictures, or even audio or video attachments (an RSS feed with a media feed is often known as a Podcast, by the way). Remembary doesn't include any of this - it just shows the timestamp and the title for each item. However, almost every RSS feed includes a link to a web page for each item - when you're looking at your feed items for a day's diary entry, simply tap on an entry to bring up a web browser that instantly goes to the item's page.

How do you find RSS feeds? Feeds are often marked with a small icon like this: RSS Icon. Sometimes there's a small label that says "XML" (the language that's used for RSS feeds). Other times there's just a section on the page that says "RSS Feeds" or "Syndication". Check near the bottom of a page or in the sidebar. Often, the feed links are near the Twitter and Facebook "like" links. Here's what some some of them look like.


 

Often your computer's browser will automatically detect RSS feeds. The Safari browser will show a small "RSS" box in the right side of the address bar if there's a feed present. Firefox will show a little blue RSS icon in the same place. Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 will highlight a little RSS icon in the tab bar, and includes a "Feed Discovery" item in the "Tools" menu.

    

Unfortunately, the iPad's browser doesn't include a feed detector, so in some cases you may need to get the feed address from your computer and email it to yourself (or put it into Notes, or sync it through Pages). If a page does have a feed link, tap and hold on the link until the menu pops up, and pick "Copy" so you can paste it into Remembary (many feeds have long complicated addresses, so typing them in manually can be difficult).

Posted
AuthorAndrew Burke