I’ve been doing some pro bono web work recently for Children’s Pressline, a youth news service that trains kids to be reporters and editors who write articles for mainstream media partners. It’s a non-profit open to any child in NYC, and currently their news stories are being run in the NY Daily News, Metro, and the Amsterdam News.
The work I’ve done involves some basic tweaks to their website, setting up a Children’s PressLine Facebook page and creating a Children’s PressLine RSS feed that shows you their latest stories and links to the major media outlet running the story.
There’s not a mobile website, but just by having an RSS feed, that’s all you really need to get started reading the content on your mobile. If you’re reading this on your S60 device, you can just click on the RSS feed, and automatically subscribe to the latest news articles.
If you’ve got one of the newer S60 devices, though, then you can get a richer experience using this widget I made which pulls in the RSS feed and displays the latest news stories directly on your phone.
You can download the Children’s PressLine widget directly, or scan in this QR code to get it straight to your mobile:
Total development time for this widget was less than an hour, and most of that time was just deciding which colors to use in the CSS. If you haven’t seen the Nokia Web Run Time, then I’d recommend checking it out as it’s going to be a great way to build quick applications for S60 devices. Right now, it’s only drawback is that it has almost no access to the device itself (e.g. GPS, Contacts), but Nokia has already announced these features will be included in the next major release.
If you want to see the source code of the widget, then just download the file to your PC and change the file extension from .wgz to .zip. Then open the zip file and all of the source code is there. It’s a very simple setup with one HTML page, and one XMLHttpRequest call to retrieve the RSS feed.
Let me know if you have any questions about how the widget was built, and I’m also interested to see how other people are using widgets not just for their personal use, but also to help promote causes they believe in.