BPS Embraces RSS Feeds

November 15, 2009

Part of the mission of this blog is to make the City’s planning processes more transparent. I’m delighted that the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability has taken a step that is very complimentary to this goal, adding RSS feeds to the bureau web site.

What’s an RSS feed?

An RSS feed item is essentially a headline, usually accompanied by a one- or two-paragraphy summary (but sometimes by a whole article). Publishing these items as feeds lets user organize this information into categories and sets and visually scan them very quickly – much faster than having to do something like open and read an e-mail message.

As a citizen trying to keep track of a lot of goings-on in both local government and national policy, it’s hard to keep up with the news. I find RSS feeds to be an invaluable tool to quickly scan what’s going on over a lot of fronts. I subscribe to more than 100 feeds. There’s no way I could keep track of all this information without the benefit of feeds.

Here’s a nice summary of how feeds work from CNET.

There are a variety of tools for reading feeds. I prefer web-based tools and currently use Google Reader, but you can find a tool that works with your favorite e-mail program, cell phone, or pretty much any device or environment you need.

You can find all the BPS feeds on this page http://www.portlandonline.com/bps/index.cfm?a=262849&c=45457

You’ll find information on events, meetings, document releases, calendars, programs and projects. Thanks to the staff that made this happen! I understand that a lot of it requires some manual tending, and I appreciate the effort that’s being made to make this information easier to consume.


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