I’ve had an itch for a while now, and this week I finally scratched it. See, like lots of tech geeks, I depend heavily on RSS feeds for my data intake—whether it’s news, blogs, package tracking, following forum discussions, or keeping up with friends on Facebook or Flickr, I love feeds. One thing was sorely missing, though. I wanted to subscribe to a feed of the FCC’s docket and be alerted each time the Commission issued a new proposed rulemaking or other notice. The FCC’s website certainly doesn’t offer such a thing, as I’ve previously lamented. Recently, I praised Regulations.gov for finally adding an RSS feed to the site. Unfortunately, it was only one feed, containing every notice from every agency. Not very useful to an individual.
The cool thing about structured data, as I explain in my recent paper on e-transparency, is that independent third parties can take a feed and manipulate it to make it more interesting and useful. So, I took my own advice and threw together a new site, OpenRegulations.org. Basically it’s an alternative interface to the Regulations.gov database. Stripped down, simple, and (I’d argue) elegant. More importantly, though, it offers RSS feeds for each regulatory agency on an agency-by-agency basis. Here are notices from just the FCC, for example. Check it out and please spread the word.