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

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.

22 thoughts on “Public beta: Subscribe to a print magazine (MAKE) via RSS

  1. SeanCoates says:

    Cool, but you’re certainly not the first to do this.

    I’m the Editor-in-Chief of php|architect (a magazine about the PHP programming language), and we’ve offered this for over a year now, through our PHP search engine, Beeblex.

    For example, if you are looking for articles on certification, you can look here:

    For unicode-related articles, you can use this:



  2. philliptorrone says:

    SeanCoates – hmm, i didn’t say we were the first. it’s hard to be first at anything in 2006. i haven’t seen your mag, but now that i have, it’s a cool feature.

    i think what you’re doing is a little different and it might even be better. our (beta) links directly to the articles, yours has a nice summary page with buy/subscribe. if someone uses our thing, they can also do that, but they’re not summarized besides the preview and text (yet). ours is a direct hop to the digital edition.

    any way, thanks for the comment, i’ll check this out more.

  3. SeanCoates says:

    Fair enough (-:

    We don’t (yet) offer our magazine in HTML format (although we are discussing it, internally), so we can’t link directly to pages. We distribute our digital edition via “weird DRM’d PDFs” (-: (we also have a dead tree version).


  4. philliptorrone says:

    SeanCoates – use texterity or check;em out, i really like them. if you want i can do an intro. feel free to email me or whatever. yah, the DRM’d pdfs gotta go :)

  5. mba says:

    Works great in Sage, great way to make it incredibly easy to search through all editions of Make at once.

    Jeremy Hellstrom

  6. gnomic00 says:

    Odd – it doesn’t seem to work with FLOCK.

  7. philliptorrone says:

    flock is the only browser i didnt test, but it seems to work in all the others :(

  8. rich.thomas says:

    I tried the instructions as given above, got WZZ RSS 2.1.5 in Firefox, it finds the Make:Blog feed off this page, and labels it as Make:Blog, and I can get entries, and it finds one called Make Magazine, but all the stuff under it are the same as the blog. I go to the digital edition of Make mag, and get the same thing. What am I doing wrong and what do I need to do right?

    When I click on the links above, I get all this code, but I think it should be going in the RSS reader somehow? I don’t see how to do that.

  9. philliptorrone says:

    heya- send me an email and i’ll get you going.

  10. rich.thomas says:

    Thanks, I read the instructions a bit more carefully and determined that I need to paste the term in the search, changing the topic to whatever, and it worked.

    I am still a bit curious as to why the MAKE Magazine RSS feed is the same as the MAKE Blog RSS feed — I would think the mag feed would have mag articles or contents, and the blog would be for blog topics?

    I am new to the RSS thing, so still learning it, but I like the blog feed!

  11. philliptorrone says:

    hey rich, we cover all the magazine topics in the blog, so we keep it down to one feed, that said we have many other feeds – check out this opml file (and import it in to your rss reader!)…

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