Filter posts from RSS feeds

23 11 2008

Ever had any posts from a feed you wish you didn’t have to read through (I know, the pain the heart ache, you have to actually scroll through a post you don’t like, man, we are so lazy us modern humans)? For example all the incessant drivelling about iPhone apps, or annoying adds in feeds, such as the ones that lifehacker have started to add, like the one below:

lifehacker feed add

lifehacker feed add

Now, if you are like me and find these adds annoying, you can get rid of them. There are a number of possibilities, but so far only one works at the moment, the rest might take time to work.

If you use Google’s Feed Reader and Firefox, you can try the Google Reader Filter for the Greasemonkey extension (and as mentioned by lifehacker themselves). This allows you to add filter words so that posts containing them are greyed out, the advantage being you still have the post to read if you want. However, I couldn’t get it to work and it only works in the list view. In fact, some comments on the scripts page indicate that it doesn’t work in Firefox 3 and that the script author is no longer maintaining it, so this might be a no-starter.

Next, you can try to write a Yahoo Pipes filter, such as this one here that I created. However, it doesn’t seem to work for me :(. This is more than likely due to my naff programming skills, you might have better luck.

Finally, there are two web services you can use, FilterMyRSS and FeedRinse. I haven’t had any results from FilterMyRSS yet, but so far FeedRinse has worked wonders. I simply added the full lifehacker RSS feed, then added a filter to block posts that contain [Sponsored] in the title. Then, subscribe to the feed in your favourite reader, and tada, gone are those annoying adds. Of course, you might have to update the filter based on how lifehacker changes how they present these adds 😉 Of course, you can add any other term to filter out, like “iPhone” to remove all the iPhone drivel that fills lifehacker’s pages these days. The disadvantage with this solution is, you can’t see what feeds have been filtered out, so you don’t know if you are missing loads of posts that you don’t actually want to be filtered out. But hey, at least the adds are gone 😉

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