MyMSN Supports RSS and Atom Aggregation

It had to happen sooner or later. MyMSN now supports adding RSS or Atom 0.3 feeds as content sources for your home page. RSS/Atom content modules can be customized to show articles from up to 1 day old to up to 365 days old, display from up to 1 article to up to 30 articles and either show article summaries as a tool tip or inline following the article headline. 

Below are screenshots of me testdriving the new features

  1. MyMSN homepage with option to add RSS feeds as content modules
  2. Adding Jeremy Zawodny’s Atom feed to my MyMSN homepage
  3. Jeremy Zawodny’s Atom feed and Robert Scoble’s RSS feed as part of my homepage

In addition the MyMSN folks also provide a handy way to create a link that enables people to add a feed to their MyMSN front page. The following link will add my RSS feed to your MyMSN front page

Just as with other Web based aggregators there is also a handy button one can add to a website to enable one-click subscription to your RSS feed. This brings to a grand total of four buttons I need to add to my homepage; Add to MyMSN button, Add to MyYahoo button, Add to Bloglines button, and Add to Newsgator button.

There is also an MSN RSS Directory that contains links to the RSS feeds produced by MSN properties such as MSNBC, MSN Autos and MSN Music.  

I’m really glad to see this ship. When I was first hired onto MSN I was supposed to work with the MyMSN folks on this effort but eventually things changed. Even though I haven’t been directly responsible for this feature I’ve been in touch with the folks driving it and I think it is totally killer that Microsoft has finally officially cast a stone in the XML syndication waters.

Great work all around.

Comments (12)

  1. Nektar says:

    Yes. It is indeed excellent work. If you can use it, that is.

    The My MSN page is totally inaccessible to people with visual imparements (like blind) who use screen-readers to customize it. I have tried and tried customizing My MSN. Every now and then I try to see if it has improved in this respect. But no. My MSN is still inaccessible.

    It says: "drag and drop columns", columns? From where to where? How to drag and drop anyway with a screen-reader? What do you mean drag, what shall I drag and what is a "column"? I mean, I know logically what a column should be but how shall I distinguish between the different columns? Or, how shall I tell between a column and the rest of the text anyway found on the page.

    It says: "Click here to get a menu of choices for this column" A menu of what choices? Why aren’t they displayed by default? A menu of choices for which column? Which one? What is a column anyway? The column title would help. And even if I click "there" (how can I click?) no menu appears. Or, is the "menu of choices" already visible and the "click here" thing just hides the menu. Meaning it togles between showing and hiding it.

    It says: "Click here to change layout, etc, etc" When I click I don’t get it. I don’t understand what happens. What is a layout anyway? I mean how does it appear? How does it look like? I need descriptions.

    Where are the keyboard shortcuts?

    Plus, not to mention the fact that on that My MSN page I can’t tell between the text that is advertisements and the text that comes from my columns that I have added myself there.

    Totally unusable. Very very disappointing. A long page full of ads mixed up with my staff. Plus I have to log-in each time. What is the use? I prefer searching the entire Internet for staff instead of having it on that complicated My MSN page that is so full of things (ads) that are not mine anyway. Better to always search, using a simple screen-reader friendly page like Google.

  2. Nektar,

    Thanks for your feedback. I’ve forwarded directly to the MyMSN team. Hopefully this will be fixed in the near future.

  3. What’s MyMSN? 🙂 Joking for course. I’ll check it out!

  4. The RSS Blog says:

    Dare Obasanjo: It had to happen sooner or later. MyMSN now supports adding RSS or Atom 0.3 feeds as content sources for your home page.

  5. MyMSN seems to be reporting the RSS results from 3 days ago for most blogs. I added a handful and other than Scoble, the results are dated.

  6. Another cool feature on is the ability to switch to a large text under the Change Colors command (which is kind of strange but… oh well…). This is a mitigating feature while we wait for FireFox-like commands that allow text magnification without regard to fixed font sizes specified for a style sheet.

    I need large text because I am running 1600×1200 on my Dell Inspiron 8100 so Visual Studio .NET and other apps are comfy.

  7. Randy,

    I pinged the MyMSN folsk and it seems they are having a caching issue with some feeds which should be sorted out shortly.

  8. You say you "pinged" MyMsn what url did you use to send an update ping?

  9. NOTE: This is FYI, and not an endorsement for MyMSN, which I use primarily because if it’s Parental Controls feature.