Intranet News feeds

I have a question for you. I'm convinced that a successful adoption of weblogs in the enterprise goes through the internal adoption of the couple news feeds and newsreaders/aggregators. But I found one major issue with disseminating internal content through RSS/Atom feeds: how do you secure the feeds?

Using an online aggregator through a web browser seems the easiest way, since every company already has its own way to secure web access to its intranet. However I tend to prefer desktop aggregators, but they don't necessarily implement things such as SSL/https and cookies which are commonly used in such cases.

Have you got secured news feeds on your intranet, and how are they implemented (security, authentication, compatible newsreaders/aggregators)?

5 Comments

Here is an interesting question ! I'm sad there is no good reply yet.

I made a couple of intranet blogs and wikis, and all I was able to do was to obfuscate enough the rss feed uri, so that it could not be automatically discovered.

I know it's not enough. I know also these intranets were not critical enough for me to search for a stronger protection system.

Hope we'll read about this in the next weeks or months : your question is a symptom, don't you think ?

IMHO the symptom may well be in your remark that there are no good reply yet (although the meager audience of this weblog may well explain that ;-). I think it's more of a sign that weblogs are still in an immature state for their direct implementation within an intranet. I've just started within my company, and am sorting out the basic authentication issues, but RSS clients are a whole different beast and anything but good corporate citizens.

An example of quick-and-dirty RSS feed protection is shown by Basecamp where each feed URL is personalized. But your example as well as Basecamp's are clearly not good enough, since it's way too easy to pass a URL to an outsider and consume it unnoticed.

As a side note, it occurs to me that Safari 2.0 with its RSS/Atom capabilities could possibly make a good corporate newsreader, since it's also a web browser. I'm sure Microsoft will add a similar functionality to IE (or to Outlook if NewsGator becomes too popular).

NetNewsWire plans to support HTTP authentication : http://ranchero.com/bugs/display.php?bugid=1202

HTTP authentication is a first step, but not good enough. At least it should do HTTPS and, even better, support browser cookies to be compatible with many cookie-based systems.

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