Home > news, productivity, tricks > RSS Feeds and Bloomberg (and other sites with no RSS)

RSS Feeds and Bloomberg (and other sites with no RSS)

For some reason back in 2006 Bloomberg disabled its RSS feeds. So I started to follow Bloomberg less frequently. But Bloomberg offers good news. So I decided to look into this again. Bloomberg still does not offer RSS feeds, but another site does. I found Feed43 (Feed for free).

But first, a couple of words about Bloomberg. It has sites for some keywords – http://topics.bloomberg.com/<keyword>. For example, http://topics.bloomberg.com/belarus (since I wanted to follow the Belarus financial crisis). It makes it easier to get news on a specific topic.

Now all you have to do is to get an RSS feed out of it. This is where Feed43 helps. It allows you to create a feed from a URL after you describe the URL so it could extract your news. It is free and you do not even have to register to use it.

Here are step by step instructions how to do this with an example:

Step 1: Specify source page address (URL)

  1. Provide a URL: http://topics.bloomberg.com/belarus
  2. Specify the encoding in necessary: <leave empty>
  3. Click “Reload”.
  4. It extracts the page contents.
  5. Please note, it removes leading and trailing spaces. This is critical to know when you configure other parameters in the next steps.

Step 2: Define extraction rules.

  1. Provide the Global Search Pattern. This is where your news block starts and ends: <h2>Belarus News</h2>{*}<ul>{%}</ul>
  2. Here the {*} indicates any character, which is used in this case to suppress spaces, {%} indicates the news block itself.
  3. Provide Item (repeatable) Search Pattern. This is the structure of your news item: <li>{*}<h3><a href=”{%}”>{%}</a></h3>{*}<p>{%}</p>{*}</li>
  4. As you can see, here the first {%} stands for the news URL, the second {%} stands for the title, and the third one stands for the news body. These variables will be converted to {%1}, {%2}, and {%3} respectively.
  5. Hit “Extract”.
  6. Now it extracts your news items.

Step 3: Define output format.

  1. RSS feed properties are easy.
  2. Feed Title (should be populated automatically): Belarus News – Bloomberg
  3. Feed Link: http://topics.bloomberg.com/belarus
  4. Feed Description: Belarus News – Bloomberg
  5. RSS item properties refer to the variables you extracted.
  6. Item Title Template (news title): {%2}
  7. Item Link Template (news link): {%1}
  8. Item Content Template (news body): {%3}
  9. Click “Preview” and you will see the extracted news.

Step 4. Get your RSS feed.

  1. Feed43 generates you an XML file with your RSS feed, which you can link to in your RSS aggregator.
  2. If you are picky, you can rename your feed.

The concept is very simple and easy to implement. The only missing thing is ability to get a publication date. But it is not always available and it requires a more complex configuration.


Dec 12, 2011 (update): It looks like Bloomberg has changed formatting. I will take a look at it with a couple of days to update the information above. But the purpose of this post was to provide some guidance, not very specific way. Stay tuned.

Dec 14, 2011 (update): One of the blog visitors suggested that this pattern should now work for the news item (step 3): <li>{*}<h3><a href=”{%}”>{%}</a></h3>{*}<p>{%}</p>{*}</li>

Dec 03, 2012 (update): I’ve got a lot of feedback recently that this no longer works. I tested it and it does work. Just use the standard double quote in #3 (Step 2). Do not just copy and paste! For some reason, WordPress tries to be too smart.

Dec 03, 2012 (update 2): Another example: Apple Technology News.

Step 1:
1. URL: http://www.bloomberg.com/technology/apple/

Step 2:

1. <h2>More Apple News</h2>{*}<ul>{%}</ul>

3. <li>{*}<a href=”{%}”{*}>{%}</a>{*}</li>

The rest is the same. Don’t forget there are simple double quotes in #3 above.

Categories: news, productivity, tricks Tags: , , ,
  1. June 14, 2011 at 00:37

    This should work for any Bloomberg’s “topics” site at the moment of the post. Just change the URL and feed title, link, and description.

  2. June 20, 2011 at 04:15

    i saw news on http://iraqidinarnews.net/ site and now i want to know the site rss feed url. But iam not able to search that rss feed url. how can i find that site news rss feed url. Please suggest me some solution. How can i fetch rss feed url.
    Thanks in advance

  3. June 27, 2011 at 00:37

    Hi alexander thanks for reply. Now you can see i fetch all the rss feed in my site now the problem is when iam clicking over a title its not displaying full post in single.php or single post. Its displaying only a paragraph also in single post. How can i display full post in single post. Help will be appreciated. Thanks

  4. June 27, 2011 at 00:38

    Sorry i forgot to mention my site url: This is my site url: http://iraqi-dinarnews.com/

  5. June 28, 2011 at 21:27

    I doubt you will be able to do much with the existing means. Even with Feed43. The site you are referring to uses WordPress and set up in such a way that it fetches only a portion of the description. Having said this, I think it is possible to get something out of it, but it would require some development.

  6. July 5, 2011 at 04:37

    Hi, I use http://www.feedyes.com for this. It works a lot easier. The only catch: you do have to register there, but you can try it for free as well.

    • July 5, 2011 at 17:33

      I do not see why it is easier than Feed43 for multiple reasons:
      1) One has to register first (even to try)
      2) It is free only for 14 days. After that one have to pay $29.95/year.
      3) When it is free, it displays ads. There is no guarantee it will not show ads after you pay (get a premium account)
      4) One’s account does not upgraded automatically. One has to send an email to have his/her account upgraded manually. No idea how long it takes.
      5) Help is not helpful at all.

  7. Babak
    March 4, 2012 at 23:32

    Thank you for your guide, Mr. Alex, but while I imitated exactly everything you mentioned in your guidance, it did not generate it for Iran and Bloomberg. I would be thankful in case you can provide me with a bit more help on the reason/solution.etc.

  8. Ben
    April 28, 2012 at 13:29

    Hi, Alex, I was directed here while searching for help for converting complicated urls into RSS feeds. Your post is the most helpful I have found so far. However, I am still struggling with this url: http://finance.yahoo.com/marketupdate/inplay
    Could you please take a look and see if it is possible to convert it into an RSS feed? Thanks a lot.


    • May 1, 2012 at 00:52

      I’ll look into this. This post is a bit outdated, so I need to update it as well.

      • February 4, 2014 at 10:41

        Hi, I think, that is the issue. I have followed your steps, but it is not working as well. I have tried some other pattern to extract data from page, but no luck. Alex could you please look on this page http://www.bloomberg.com/news/real-estate/. I want to create feed for this page. I’am waiting hearing from you.

  9. notyourbusiness
    October 9, 2012 at 23:54

    Thanks a lot for this! It works great!
    I had to modify the item search pattern to get it to work (also using one of Bloomberg’s topic sites):

  10. Max
    January 22, 2013 at 11:57

    Hi, thanks a lot for this. However, I cannot get it to work, only your Belarus News example. The Apple example did not work for me. And when I try to convert any other Bloomberg page (in my example: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/europe/) feed43 tells me that the global pattern didn’t match anything. I’m using the global pattern: Europe News{*}{%} and {*}{%}{*}{%}{*}
    item search pattern. Could you take a look at this, and correct whatever I’m doing wrong.
    Thanks a lot.

    • GIST
      February 16, 2013 at 08:42

      Max – so how did you get it to work?

  11. Max
    February 1, 2013 at 20:20

    Actually I figured this out now. But now I have a different question, and a lot more complicated: Is there any way I can create an RSS feed from a password protected website?
    Thanks for any suggestions

    • February 2, 2013 at 21:18

      Probably not using Feed43 alone. Theoretically, you can if you “steal” the cookie. But then if there is a session expiration, then you’d need some custom implementation. Apache HttpComponents may help you a bit.

  12. February 4, 2014 at 10:35

    Hi, i am at Step2 and in 6th point.

    6. Now it extracts your news items.

    But after click extract button, it showing an error message “Item pattern matched 0 times”.

    Any help Appreciated.

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