How to Turn a Google Docs document into a auto updating RSS feed

Hi people! Happy 2013! I’d just like to start off this New Year with a very helpful tip that I just happened to take advantage of. This is a trick on how to monitor changes to a Google document by way of RSS feed!

Ever since people started complaining about checking my document every so often, I became aggravated. Who wouldn’t, it’s really not that hard to keep the link in a text file or your favorites list but there are those incredibly lazy people out there in the world that really hate moving  their pointer finger an inch and a half downward to click the mouse so I did some snooping!

At first, I thought Google hated me. You’d think that this would have been a feature that they would have added by now, heck; even Microsoft didn’t have an option with their SkyDrive copycat to Google drive and Google docs, now intergraded. I was stunned. I’m sure many people have requested this feature. Since I didn’t see anything like that on either website, I turned to looking for a solution. They both were onto me long before I even thought about this because neither had an option. Tech supports in forums told me so.

Defeated, almost, I told my friends to shut up and click the link every few days. They were definitely not happy by my response so I continued to look. I finally devised my own solution because; these brilliant companies who always listen to the customer didn’t read my mind and create a solution like this.

I knew that, in Google docs, there was a publish to web option. I knew just from personal experience that the link that they gave you to publish to the web was a simplified view of the document. The trick was to find a web service that would convert, and actively search for, any changes to a single webpage and spit them into RSS feeds. That’s when the hunt began for a page to RSS converter.

But first I’m going to tell you how to get the link you need.

  1. When you are viewing your Google document click file.
  2. Click on publish to web.
  3. Look for document link URL or something similar than that.
  4. Copy that entire link. Make sure you save it somewhere where you can copy it again.

Now that’s all done, I’m going to tell you about page2RSS. http://page2rss.com/.

Page to RSS is a service, that’s free and ugly looking, that will monitor your webpage that you specify. It will NOT monitor websites, just singular pages. It will automatically check your page that you entered and then it will ping the RSS feed, and you will get a nice detailed description inn your RSS feed what was changed, if a new link was added, if something was removed, etc. it’s free at the moment, but with the way the economy is going I wonder how long this treasure chest will last.

Now that you’ve gone there, here’s how you turn your Google document into an RSS feed.

  1. Look at the top and paste that link that you copied earlier.

That’s it! You’re done! You don’t even need to sign up or anything like that! I don’t know how they keep track of the feeds you submit though; I’ll blog more about that when I actually figure that out.

After you put the link in there and press next your feed will be created. You should look for a message that says this page is monitored for updates. There were no changes detected since Dec 31, 2012 8:16:51 PM. To receive updates for this page in RSS format copy-paste this link into your feed reader.

Do what it says. If you want to twitterize your new feed use twitter feed, found at http://twitterfeed.com to publish your new feed to Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, and now, application.com or something weird like that.

I was so happy that I bounced up and down! I then slumped dejectedly in my chair. I didn’t even have a good-looking black man to share the moment with. So sad! Oh how I wish that I could find me a gorgeous brown husband who doesn’t wear bling, can cook, and who can even argue with me about books. My new year’s resolution is to vehemently find this brown husband! I will! I found a work around to something that not many people have figured out, haven’t I? How hard can finding my soul mate be?

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Robert W Kingett

Robert Kingett is a gay blind journalist, and author, with many publications in magazines, anthologies, and blogs. He has judged many writing contests and has won many awards for his writings and advocacy.

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