This is a shout out to all the technically sophisticated Ephs out there, people like DeWitt Clinton ’98, Evan Miller ’06, Ethan Zuckerman ’93, Eric Smith ’99 and Stephen O’Grady ’97.

We want to create an “Eph News” feed with the following characteristics:

1) It would present a feed of news stories (or blog posts or whatever) which mention specific topics. Duplicate items would be deleted or aggregated in some way. There should be a pretty interface for users, along with an RSS feed. Google News is a nice example. Consider a search for “Williams College.”

2) Although the UI for Google News is fine, the substance is not. For example, there seem to be many important sources that Google News does not (or, more likely, can not) aggregate. A current example is the New York Times. Note the articles which mention “Williams College” but which do not appear in the Google News feed. So, Eph News needs to search more than one source.

3) An interface for the maintainers (i.e., Eric and me) which allows us to easily maintain a list of text strings that we want stories about. Google News is fine, but it is not easy to simultaneously search for stories which mention either “Williams College” or “Morton Schapiro” or “Bethany McLean” or “James MacGregor Burns” or several dozen more strings.

Any ideas? DeWitt’s involvment in Open Search is clearly relevant while Ethan’s recent work is too complex for me to follow, much less implement.

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