Public beta: Subscribe to a print magazine (MAKE) via RSS

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Ok Makers, for those of you who use RSS feeds and also subscribe to MAKE (the magazine + digital edition) we have an interesting “public beta” we’d like you to try out “subscribe to a print magazine (MAKE) via RSS”. For the folks who want to dive in, or who are in the publishing industry – you can now subscribe (via RSS) to any term/topic/author that appears in MAKE (print magazine) and read the articles you subscribed to (RSS) instantly with our digital edition… In other words “MAKE Magazine feeds feature page permalinks (Thanks Steve)…”I think it’s glimpse of one of the many ways publishing will evolve for newspapers and magazines as everyone continues to use RSS as an easy way to get what they want… We’re MAKE so the best way to predict the future is to MAKE it right?

First, some words about the terms we’re going to use. Then, how to try it out…

RSS – What’s RSS? It’s a way to quickly get at all the stuff you want to see on the web without needing to visit all the sites unless you want to.

For example, many Makers subscribe to the MAKE RSS feed and get the dozens of MAKE blog posts each day, here’s what it looks like in the Safari web browser (Mac)… Still unsure about RSS? Check out this article that explains RSS.

MAKE Digital Edition – If you subscribe to MAKE you can also get the free digital edition. MAKE Digital Edition is a vivid replica of the print edition of MAKE, it offers an experience very much like the print magazine plus many additional benefits, such as online searching, sharing with friends, embedded multimedia and printing.


The MAKE Digital Edition can be viewed from any web browser and requires NO DOWNLOADING of software, no weird DRM’d PDFs. You get a login and password and you’re set. More about the digital edition here & if you want access to every issue of MAKE online, you can go Premium Maker (more here).

So, you can subscribe to a RSS feed, you can subscribe to a print magazine… What if you could subscribe (RSS) to parts of magazine (print)? Well, now you can!

Now, it might be a little confusing – “subscribe to a RSS feed” and “subscribe to MAKE (print/digital) edition, so here’s how it works…

First, pick a topic or pick one of ours. Perhaps you like LEDs, these cheap little lights are in tons of projects, so you subscribe (RSS) to “LED” – with your RSS reader you get a list of all the articles in MAKE (print) that have LEDs.

Here’s what it looks like and here’s the RSS feed.

From here you get a preview of the article, a thumbnail of the page, you can click the link and if you’re a MAKE subscriber (print/digital edition) you can log in – you’re instantly reading that article with LEDS. The first link was a mention of LEDs in our “Robosapien in a Can” article from page 192 in MAKE 07 (our latest issue).

Here’s the page, since I’m a making digital edition subscriber it was cookie’d and I was reading the article right away.

This works for any topic, just replace LED with what you want. The term just needs to appear after search=

Here are a few a topics that might be of interest…

You can add any of these feeds to your RSS reader, or make your own…

Some beta notes and other stuff…

  • You don’t need to subscribe to MAKE to use this. You could just subscribe (RSS) to any topic, but when you click the link to read the article, you won’t be able to read it. You could go off to a book store or something, but we’re hoping this has value and folks will subscribe. Here’s a link to subscribe with an extra $5 off, just for MAKE blog readers…
  • MAKE is a quarterly, so you won’t get daily updates, just when we ship new issues of MAKE. But that’s ok, this is all about notification of things you want to know about. Magazines and newspapers that publish (print) frequently and have a web based online edition like ours could do a lot in this space. I’d love to subscribe (RSS) to topics I’m interested in and read them instantly from my favorite publications. I could see doing ad supported versions of the feeds, free day passes, etc etc. We’ll see what happens with the beta here and I’m pretty sure the nimble magazines and newspapers will jump on this or something like it, eventually.
  • OPML – OPML is a list of RSS feeds. So, in the future (or heck, right now) you can get a list of RSS feeds (OPML) that have all sorts of topics from the pages of MAKE. maybe it’s topics from a friend, maybe it’s your “playlist” – who knows, that’s the cool part. I’m working on this now and will have some more stuff to try out soon.
  • This is a part of an ongoing series of RSS related projects we hope our MAKE readers will find useful. Others include the RSS enabled MAKEbot instant messaging buddy, Weekend videos with PDFs in iTunes (RSS 2.0 enclosures), our OPML file for MAKE and all the rest of the online goodness we try and keep interesting here for MAKE and RSS users/readers.
  • Feedback, let us know what you think. Also, it’s beta, so if it’s down or wonky, we might be working on it.
  • Special thanks to our pals at Texterity, Logan, Virginia, Cimarron for helping us with this new idea in publishing.

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