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published: March 2004
analytic scripts updated:  October 28, 2010

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RSS: the 24 Hour Museum cultural newsfeed
Jonathan Pratty, 24 Hour Museum, United Kingdom

Mini-Workshop: RSS

In a paper delivered to Museums and the Web 2003, Professor Jonathan Bowen of London South Bank University called for a museum sector news feed to be developed. At the 24 Hour Museum (Britain's National Virtual Museum) we had been developing an RSS 2.0 news feed since 2002 of our exhibition reviews, museum news stories and heritage trails. On the face of it, arranging an XML news feed should be relatively simple. Not the case, in fact. What format - RSS 1.0 or 2.0? How much content do you need? When you've got your feed working, will anyone use it? How can you tell? Copyright issues and ways to market the feed are also issues that are explored in this paper. The 24 HM RSS feed is, as far as we are aware, the UK's first museum and gallery news feed, and it has already boosted our reader figures by approx. 20%. The mini-workshop that accompanies this paper will explore the issues we've encountered, and hopefully ease the path for others to follow.