Home » Blog » Geekery » A shameless plug for a cool new feature

A shameless plug for a cool new feature

International Man of Mystery Boris Anthony has outdone himself with the latest feature addition to Global Voices – JSS, or Javascript syndication.

As I’ve mentioned before, the volume of posts to Global Voices is pretty overwhelming – I count 55 so far today, and there’s still daylight left here on the East Coast. We’ve long encouraged readers to subscribe to “Today on Global Voices”, David Sasaki’s excellent one-page summary of some of our best stories. But sometimes you don’t want the serendipity of a global overview – you want all the stories we post on Nigeria or North Korea.

We’ve offered country-specific RSS feeds for quite a while… but lots of folks missed the cute RSS buttons on each country page of the site. Now we’ve got a comprehensive RSS page, giving links for each subject and country, so you can fill your aggregator with exactly the content you want.

But wait, there’s more!

Inspired by the clever folks at Newsvine, Boris has made all these feeds available both as RSS (Really Simple Syndication, the format used by many weblogs and media sites to syndicate their content) and as JSS. JSS is a clever trick that makes it very easy to add these headlines to your blog or website – click the JSS link associated with a category or country and you’ll be presented with a little snippet of Javascript to paste into the template of your blog or onto your homepage. It took me roughly 15 seconds to add headlines from Sub-Saharan Africa and from our Freedom of Speech section to the right side of this blog.

If you’re clever, you can make these headlines fit the look and feel of your blog with a little customization of CSS and XHTML. (I’m not especially clever, and the look and feel of this blog is “clutter”.) Boris offers useful instructions on the JSS page, including a couple of pretty techiques for incorporating these feeds and our logo.

Two things make this sort of service possible. One is open standards – because most blogs speak RSS and XHTML, it’s possible to design a tool that’s very likely to work on weblogging platforms we haven’t even seen. The second is Creative Commons. Because we release Global Voices content under an Attribution 2.5 license, you’re welcome to take content from Global Voices and use it however you like – translate it, put it in your blog sidebars, send it to your mobile phone – as long as you credit us for writing it in the first place, you’re very welcome to use it. Or as Henny Youngman might have said, “Take our content. Please!”