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O'Reilly Network Launches Meerkat

The O'Reilly Network this week added Meerkat to its portal for developers interested in open and emerging technologies.

Meerkat is an open wire service designed to keep developers on top of rapidly changing technology news. The service organizes information, drawn from a wide variety of sites, by channel, category, and date.

Meerkat's key feature is that it lets the user know when something has changed on a Web site, making it easier for developers to stay abreast of many technologies. Using Meerkat, developers can determine what has been published in the last hour, day, or month on a variety of sites.

"Meerkat is an editorial tool that we use at the O'Reilly Network to monitor the flow of information in technical communities," said Dale Dougherty, publisher of the O'Reilly Network. "It was so exciting that we decided to open it to users."

Meerkat aggregates information from sites that support RSS (Rich Site Summary), an XML format that supplies the title, description and URL for stories created on the site. RSS was developed by Netscape in 1999 as a way of drawing in content from the Web for use in its My Netscape Network portal. RSS is becoming increasingly popular as technology sites share headlines with other sites to draw traffic, and use RSS feeds to link to related information.

The O'Reilly Network, created last fall is a wholly-owned subsidiary of O'Reilly & Associates. O'Reilly & Associates provides information on the Internet, Java, programming, open source software, Windows NT, and Unix.