Creating a Vanity Feed with RSS

This post is a bit of a departure for this little series, as this article does not tell you how use the internet for your own self promotion, but instead, it will tell you how you can see how your
self promotion is doing.

Let’s face it. You’re an actor (or performer of some kind). You’re vain (admit it. You are). You want to know what’s being written about you in the media. So, this article is going to tell you how to create an RSS feed that will find your name in the news and on blogs and gather it all together in one place for you to see.

Yeah. You can thank me later.

First off, you probably saw an acronym you didn’t recognize there: RSS. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. Most news web sites use RSS, and that allows you to use an RSS reader to pull articles from the news web site to your reader, where you can read all the news articles in one place.

To begin, you’ll need an RSS reader. There are many you can choose from. Personally, I like Google Reader
because I can access it anywhere, and its free. I’m going to use Google Reader as my example here, but things pretty much work the same for any RSS reader.

Creating your Feeds

Once you have your reader set up, you will now need to create the feeds you will use. We’ll be creating several feeds, so just follow along below.

Google News

First up, go to Google News. In the search bar at the top of Google News, type your name, and click the Search News Button. The next screen will be your search result (just like any regular Google search). Here’s where things get different though. Look at the sidebar on the left hand side of your search result page.

Under the navigation bar (which you can see the bottom of in the image
to the right), you will see several links. Right now, we’re going to
concentrate on the RSS link highlighted in the screen capture.

Move your mouse over the RSS link, then right-click and copy the
link. You’ve just copied a link to the RSS feed for news articles that
contain your name.

Take this link to your Google Reader (or other RSS program). Click on
Add Subscription, paste the RSS feed link into the field, and click

Your RSS feed will collect any news from Google News that contains
your name and collect in the Reader for you to access at any time. This
isn’t limited to just news either. Google News has the ability to
search Blogs for a phrase. Just click the Blog Search link, and repeat the steps above to find blogs that mention your name.

Yahoo News

You can do much the same at Yahoo News.
Type your name into the search bar. Look for the RSS feed icon
(pictured to the right). Once again, right-click to copy the Feed URL
and take it to your reader.


Technorati is an
internet search engine focused on the world of weblogs. As of June
2005, Technorati indexes over 11 million weblogs. If you want more
notifications of whenever a blogger uses your name, use a Technorati RSS feed to keep track of
it. To set that up, type your name in the search field, select in blog
posts from the drop-down menu. Then click search. Look for the Subscribe icon,
right-click to copy the URL, and then take the address to your reader.

Now, you’ve set up a number of RSS feeds that will let you find any references to your name in the news or on blogs without you having to actively search for it.