What sets Remembary apart from other iPad diaries is how it connects to the internet and gives you lots of context for your daily entries. It does this through Twitter and RSS feeds. Here's a quick article about what RSS is and how to get feeds into Remembary - but what feeds should you use? Here are some ideas to get you started. I'll be adding to this list as I find new feeds. If you have your own ideas for RSS feeds, feel free to drop me a line
Please keep in mind that Remembary is not a full-featured RSS reader. Instead, it uses RSS to enhance the diary-writing experience. There are many great RSS readers for the iPad - I like Early Edition - so consider using one if you get more heavily into RSS.
- The rise of blogging really helped popularize RSS, and most blogging platforms support RSS - not just for posts but also for comments. Add your own blog or those of your friends.
- You can put your pictures up on Flickr and subscribe to the RSS feed of your (or somebody else's) photo stream. The link is at the bottom of the photostream page. Remembary has been specially coded to use the date/time that the photo was taken rather than the default of when the photo was uploaded. Note that Flickr only puts the last 20 pictures into the RSS feed - good to keep in mind if, like me, you enjoy uploading dozens of pictures at a time.
- Picasa also has RSS links on almost every user and album, and while it doesn't have an ongoing stream of all of your pictures like Flickr does, the RSS feed for an album will include every picture - so you might want to set up an album called "Remembary" and subscribe to that.
- You can get your Facebook notifications in RSS. Go to your Notifications page (click on the little globe icon in the header near the Search box and click on "See All Notifications") - and at the top is "Subscribe: via RSS"
- FourSquare is a service that lets you 'check in' at different locations - with Remembary you can now get a trail of where you've been on a given day. You can find out more about their feeds athttp://foursquare.com/feeds/
- If you're a programmer, especially if you spend a lot of time on team or open-source projects, the popular "Social Coding" site GitHub can send you your news feed in RSS. Look for the big orange RSS logo on the right top of the page.
- While Remembary has built-in support for a Twitter account, you can follow other Twitter users through RSS as well. The problem is, the RSS link is only available in the "Old" Twitter interface. If you're already using the "New" interface, click on your name in the top right of the window and pick "Leave preview" from the menu that comes up - this will take you to the old interface, where you can find the RSS links. You can bring down your entire timeline of all of the people you're following (not recommended!) or you can just follow one account. Click on the user name to bring up their profile and the RSS link is near the bottom of the right sidebar. Once you're done, you can click on the "Try it now" link at the top to go back to the New Twitter. You might want to do this soon, since who knows when Twitter will turn off the Old version?
News Sports and Weather
Many diarists in the past used their diaries to record current events - now Remembary can do this for you. Almost every news site has at least one RSS feed - the major ones have many.
- CNN has RSS feeds for Top Stories, World News, U.S. News, Sports, Business, Most Popular, and more. There's a big directory at http://www.cnn.com/services/rss/
- Each section of the BBC website has its own RSS feed, but they don't show the links on the pages. You can just add "rss.xml" to the end of the URL though. Their main news page is at feed://feeds.bbci.co.uk/news/rss.xml
- You can even get the weather - although most weather feeds don't put the information in the title where it's easy to see in Remembary. Environment Canada seems to do it right, though. It has an RSS link at the bottom of every weather forecast page. Here's one for Toronto.
- If you're a sports fan, Yahoo has news feeds for every team of most major leages. NHL is at http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/rss, NBA is at http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/rss, NFL is at http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/rss, MLB is at http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/rss. The BBC has a good football news feed at feed://www.football.co.uk/news/rss.aspx.
Other Interesting Feeds
- One of the most famous diaries in history is the one that Samuel Pepys kept between 1660 and 1670. He led an interesting life in exciting times, and his diary is being put online day-by-day as a blog. The daily RSS feed is at http://www.pepysdiary.com/syndication/full.rdf - each day as you write in your Remembary diary, you can see what he did 343 years ago. Also, if you're having trouble figuring out what to write in a diary, Pepys' style is a great place to start - fairly short entries, describing the people he met, the shows he saw, and the food he ate, mixed with some personal opinion and reflection.
- You can get This Day in History at feed://www.thefreedictionary.com/_/WoD/rss.aspx?type=history.
- Wikipedia's "Today's Featured Article" is in a feed at feed://jeays.net/wikipedia/featured.xml. Every article in Wikipedia also has an RSS feed of all of its updates.
- The iPad is a full multimedia device and Remembary's built-in browser can handle audio and video files - so you can add podcasts or vlogs as well. You can find lists of podcasts at http://podcast.com/
- If you are of a religious bent, you can subscribe to Scripture verses via RSS. There's a big directory of different kinds of bible feeds at http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/share/rss2.0/ and a daily reading of verses of the Koran at feed://www.sonibyte.com/rssfeed/35.xml.