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curate using the Cronycle sources library (RSS, Topics, freeform search, newsletters and email alerts, twitter handles)

How to curate from your sources library

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Cronycle feeds aggregate content from several sources, combining RSS (a standard for sharing web links), Twitter handles (web links shared on Twitter by these handles) and Cronycle Topics (our own automated curated feeds). This article is about our advanced mode to curate from your sources, using your source library. We conclude with how to use RSS Folders.

In Cronycle, there are indeed several ways to create a feed aggregating sources:

  • From the Create Feed option in Feeds: easy mode, recommended if you are relatively new to Cronycle and to curation.
  • From the library of sources: our advanced mode, described here.
  • For Cronycle Topics only: search any Topic in the top search bar.
  • For newsletters: you can start from the dedicated newsletters feed. Learn more.
Go to your sources library to curate from, from the bottom left of your feeds page

Click or tap on Sources Library to access the library discussed here

When should I curate from the sources library?

There are different cases when you may want to use the sources library to curate from your sources:

  • You started with a pre-existing sources library and imported many sources, either RSS feeds via an OPML file (the industry standard), or a connected Twitter account. The library is where the results of the import will appear and where you’ll be able to build feeds. Learn more
  • Your team shares sources: read more on how to manage sources collaboratively.
  • Over time, you have manually added a large amount of sources, and reached a point where a spring clean is welcome

What does the sources library do?

Cronycle’s sources library lists all the sources and Topics you have added in feeds, and those you’ve imported or added manually to the library. You can add and remove sources, search and filter the listed sources, create feeds to filter and review content, and folders to further organize your sources.

the library is a table showing all your sources with information such as in which feeds they are used

How to find the sources I am looking for in the library?

In the table, you can see all of your sources listed. If you have source pooling switched on, you can also see your team’s sources.

There, you can filter sources by:

  • Type: Twitter handles, RSS feeds, Cronycle Topics, newsletters – using the sub-pages
  • Name, URL and handle: use the search
  • RSS Folder: your (and your team’s) folders. Read the chapter on folders below.
  • Feed: your (and your team’s) feeds where the sources are currently used.
  • User: the person who added the source. This is only relevant for teams pooling sources.
  • Date added: when the source was added the first time.

Sometimes, RSS sources don’t provide new content for a long time: we indicate these as inactive. We also have another indicator if they are broken (e.g. the RSS link is not valid anymore).

Clicking on a source name opens a small preview window which gives you an idea of the content shared by the source. Note that videos and tweets do not appear here at the moment. Rest assured, they will all appear in feeds.

How to add more sources to my library to curate?

Your sources library is not universal: your table only shows what you have added over time. That’s fortunate, as millions of available sources would make it unmanageable!

However, you can easily search and add any other available sources (RSS feeds, Twitter handles, Cronycle Topics and freeform searches, and newsletter senders) using the “Add New Sources” button.

Add new sources to curate from your sources library

In the next screen, in the search box, you can either search a subject, domain, name or directly enter an RSS URL, Twitter @handle or email address. Learn more how to search sources from this dedicated tutorial.

Search to add new sources to your sources library

We really appreciate when customers tell us about a source they struggle to add: it helps make our database and system even better!

Import RSS and Twitter sources

There are also two ways to import sources.

First, you can upload an OPML file to import a list of RSS links. Most feed aggregators, such as Feedly and ourselves, allow you to export your list of RSS feeds in this standard format. Read this dedicated post on this subject, as there is an easy way to rebuild feeds when doing a transition to Cronycle.

Second, and this is a unique feature: you can connect your Twitter account to synchronize the accounts you follow. Know that there are different limits depending on your plan.

How to remove sources?

You can simply select the source(s) you want to remove, and click on the red delete button at the top of the table. However, remember the following points:

  • If you delete a source, it will be removed from the feed(s) it is used in. To help you in cleaning up your library, the table displays the amount of feeds a source is used in, and name(s) on click.
  • You can only delete the sources you added. So when doing a clean up, if you are in an organization using source pooling, remember to filter by your name first.
  • The Twitter accounts added through the connection with your Twitter are synchronized every 15 minutes. This means you cannot delete them manually. When you disconnect your Twitter account, the sources are removed from your library and the feeds they are used in.
sources library with one Twitter handle selected, before deleting

We’ve disabled deleting when all sources are selected to avoid clearing a sources library by error. So, if you want to delete all your sources to get a fresh start, you’ll need to do it in two steps.

  • Select all the sources across all pages, deselect one source and press delete.
  • Delete the last remaining source.

Once your sources are deleted, we cannot retrieve them.

How to create feeds from sources in the library?

First, filter and select the sources you want to add, using the filters described above and the tick boxes in the table. Note that the filters apply across all the pages.

Once you have the right selection, click on Add to Feed.

selected source and button to add to a feed

This opens a list to select an existing feed (with the option to search if you have many) and the option to create a new feed. This last option opens a window to name your feed, review the selected sources and confirm. Note that this pop-up also lets you add keyword filters. You can also do that easily later on, from the feed, with a direct view of the impact on the content

create a new feed pop up listing sources, name to add and optional keyword filters

You can also add sources directly to your existing feeds from the feed settings (go to the feed and click on the cog wheel).

Search to add new sources to your sources library
Feed settings where sources can be added and removed

What are RSS folders and how to use them?

RSS Folders make it easier to curate from your sources library when you have a lot of RSS sources. RSS Folders are containers where RSS sources can be grouped and can directly be added to feeds. There are two main reasons to use RSS Folders:

  • Organise your RSS sources in a structure relevant to your work.
  • Build several feeds with the same set of RSS sources but different filters, leading to different content delivered in the feed.

Create RSS folders

To create or modify an RSS Folder, in your source library, go to RSS or RSS Folders.

From the RSS page: select the RSS feed(s) you want to add to an RSS Folder, then click on “Add to Folder” at the top of the table. You can then choose an existing folder.

Use RSS folders to curate from your sources

From the RSS Folders page: you can create new folders and also remove sources within a folder. Note that you cannot add RSS sources to Folder from this page.

curate from your sources library - RSS folders
Organize your RSS feed into folders

Note that Cronycle Topics and Twitter handles cannot be added to RSS Folders, and that folders cannot be nested together. We used to allow Twitter handles to be added in folders, but we have changed this to be fully compatible with the OPML standard (which cannot include Twitter handles). Contact us if you have issues with this point.

You are now ready to filter your sources by folder in the RSS library – this is useful for categorization and quickly finding what you are looking for. For each folder, you can see the sources and in what feeds it is used (across the organization if you have “Source Pooling” on).

see information about feeds for your folders and sources
See info about the folder, including the feeds it is used in

Use RSS folders to easily create feeds from sources in the library

You can go a step further in organizing how your curate with the sources library. You can directly add an RSS Folder to a feed. To do so: select the folder(s) you want to add, click on “Add to Feed” at the top of the table, select the feed you want to add to, or create a new feed.

Add RSS Folder(s) to a Feed
Add RSS Folder(s) to a Feed

Any change to RSS Folders will be reflected on the feed: if you add a new source to the folder, it will added to all the feeds where your folder is used.

How to export your RSS Library

As mentioned above, there is a file standard, OPML, that lets people collect, structure and transfer their list of RSS feeds across platforms. However, the OPML standard only accepts RSS links – not Twitter or Topic sources.

In the case of Cronycle, you can choose whether to export your RSS links, or your folders. And in both cases, you can select those you want to export.

For RSS links: go to the RSS page in your Sources Library, select the items you want to export, then click on “Download OPML” above the table header.

Download RSS sources as OPML

The download happens directly, and you’ll find the OPML file in your downloads. This option is not available on smartphones and tablets.

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