Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Blog Roll Downloader

I was thinking in the shower just now about some ideas Raudel and I were bantering about a few weeks back. One idea I've been mulling over is a program that would start with a Blogroll, like you have in your typical RSS reader. But then it would automatically download and save local copies of each webpage linked to in the feed. Then, you could be off-line, perhaps on an airplane, train, bus, or anywhere else without a steady internet connection and you could still read a large amount of content online.

How far you drill down the chain of links arbitrary, but obviously you're not going to save a copy of the entire internet. You could perhaps download all links from the feed, and then every webpage that was linked to by that page. Of course, using an ad blocker would greatly reduce the amount of excess downloads. Or you could simply set it to get the feed linked page and any link that contains words like "page 2" or "next page", so that you get the whole article.

Another permutation could be to do this on a server somewhere else, then zip up all the saved pages into one file, and then have it sent via email to your address. This way, if you were traveling and only had sporadic access to the internet, you could still download all your content for viewing later.

This also nicely fits into my obsession with independent archiving (which I will be writing more about in the near future). How can I trust the Man to always give me access to the information I need?

Is there anything like this right now? I think Joe Cheng's Onfolio does something like it. I'll have to download their trial version and check it out. Would anyone else find this kind of program useful?


At 10:29 PM, Blogger Thomas said...

Avantgo has been doing this for years. though not specifically for blogs.


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