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Headlines Plugin

Show headline news in TWiki pages based on RSS and ATOM news feeds from external sites


This plugin displays RSS and ATOM feeds from news sites. Use it to build news portals that show headline news.

Note: Syndic8.com ( http://www.syndic8.com/ ) lists many RSS and ATOM feeds.

Syntax Rules


Parameter Explanation Default
"..." Source of RSS or ATOM feed; this can be an url (starting with http) or a web.topic location for internal feeds None; is required
href="..." (Alternative to above) N/A
refresh="60" Refresh rate in minutes for caching feed; "0" for no caching Global REFRESH setting
limit="12" Maximum number of items shown Global LIMIT setting
header="..." Header. May include these variables:
- $channeltitle, $title: title of channel (channel.title)
- $channellink, $link: link of channel (channel.link)
- $channeldescription, $description: description (channel.description)
- $channeldate, $date: publication date of the channel (channel.pubDate)
- $rights: copyrights of the channel (channel.copyright)
- $imagetitle: title text for site (image.title)
- $imagelink: link for site (image.link)
- $imageurl: URL of image (image.url)
- $imagedescription: description of image (image.description)
Global HEADER setting
format="..." Format of one item. May include these variables:
- $title: news item title (item.title)
- $link: news item link (item.link)
- $description: news item description (item.description)
- $date: the publication date (item.pubDate, item.date)
- $category: the article category (item.category)
Global FORMAT setting
touch="..." Touch (edit/save) topics if the feed has updates. Specify a comma-space delimited list of TopicNames or Web.TopicNames, such as "%TOPIC%, NewsLetter". Useful to send out newsletter using MailerContrib, showing new feeds since last newsletter. To update feeds, visit topics with feeds in regular intervals (using cron with wget or the like). N/A

The header and format parameters might also use variables rendering the dc, image and content namespace information. Note, that only bits of interest have been implemented so far and those namespaces might not be implemented fully yet.

Rendering the dc namespace

The following variables are extracting the dc namespace info, that could be used in header and format. Note that some of the variables are already used above. This is done by purpose to use different feeds with the same formatting parameters. If there's a conflict the non-dc tags have higher precedence, i.e. a <title> content </title> is preferred over <dc:title> content </dc:title>.

  • $title: channel/article title (dc:title)
  • $creator: channel creator (dc:creator)
  • $subject: subject text; this will also add an image according to the subject hash list, see above (dc:subject)
  • $description: ... (dc:description)
  • $publisher: the channel/article publisher (dc:publisher)
  • $contributor: ... (dc:contributor)
  • $date: ... (dc:date)
  • $type: ... (dc:type)
  • $format: ... (dc:format)
  • $identifier: ... (dc:identifier)
  • $source: ... (dc:source)
  • $language: ... (dc:language)
  • $relation: ... (dc:relation)
  • $coverage: ... (dc: coverage)
  • $rights: ... (dc: rights)

Rendering the image namespace

An image:item is converted into an <img> tag using the following mappings:

  • src: image url (rdf:about attribute of the image.item tag)
  • alt: image title (title)
  • width: image width (image:width)
  • height: image height image:height)

Rendering the content namespace

The variable $content is referring to the <content:encoding> content </content:encoding>.


Slashdot News


%HEADLINES{ "http://slashdot.org/slashdot.rdf" 
  header="*[[$link][$title]]:* $description" 
  format="$t* [[$link][$title]]"
to get the latest Slashdot news as a bullet list format:

HeadlinesPlugin ERROR: 500 SSL negotiation failed:

Business Opportunities Weblog


%HEADLINES{ "http://www.business-opportunities.biz/feed" limit="2" }%

to get the latest postings on the "Business Opportunities" weblog:

Sat, 17 Nov 2018 13:56:44 +0000
The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs
Wed, 14 Nov 2018 13:24:47 +0000 Laurie Bennett
Photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels

These days, it seems as if everybody is using website infographics. Therefore, you have to create yours differently, or your website infographics will be dull and nobody will pay attention. Fortunately, there are some creative and effective ways to create powerful website infographics. Here are eight of the most effective:




Do Your Research

Dig up as much information as you can. This will give you more data to choose from when you assemble your infographic. If you want to make your website infographics powerful, you have to say something genuinely new and useful. So take your time when you’re doing research, and find the most compelling facts and figures you possibly can.


Tell a Story

Every infographic should convey a central idea or concept. An infographic that has a═lot of information and graphics but fails to convey a central idea will fall flat. So tell the story and tell it well. Connect the dots with images, text, and statistics. Then weave it all into a captivating story about something your users want or need to know.




Give Your Website Infographics Flawless Style

Style it to perfection. Don't make it too scholarly or pedestrian. Neither make it vague or obvious. There should be a balance between the information and the graphics. Become a master of style and you will make your website infographics truly stand out. If you need a little help, turn to a professional designer like G Squared.


Make Use of Statistics

An infographic is than just a collection of boxes of text. In other words, don't make the mistake of making your infographic text-heavy. At the same time, make it powerful with pertinent statistics. That is, prove your point and make an impact with a few simple data points or statistics.


Use a Variety of Graphs and Charts

In addition to text, you will also need graphs and charts as well as other images. But be sure to use variety in your graphs and charts, or your viewers will find your infographic dull.


Use Colors Effectively

Never forget the “graphics” in your website infographics. Use colors to create impact. Whether subtle or bold, effective use of color will make your website infographics powerful.


Make It Shareable

What's the point of an infographic that is not easy to share? Always keep in mind while you’re creating your infographic that it's meant to circulate. So make it share-worthy as well as easily shareable on blog posts and other social media.


Keep It Simple

Simplicity is the ultimate in sophistication. So keep it simple in the flow of information as well as in your use of images, graphs, and charts. Make sure that people will find it easy to navigate. In this way, more of them will read and appreciate it.



As you can see, it takes a variety of factors combined in compelling ways to make an infographic that is powerful and appealing. However, by following these basic principles, you can learn to create stunning website infographics that your users will love.

The post 8 Ways to Create Powerful Website Infographics That Your Users Will Love appeared first on Business Opportunities.

Wed, 14 Nov 2018 13:24:43 +0000 Laurie Bennett
Photo by Startup Stock Photos from Pexels

Are you intimidated by the acronym ''SEO''? Do you think of it as jargon that only nerds and geeks know and understand? Fret not. This article will help you thread your way into the world of SEO for startups. Here you’ll learn everything you need to know about SEO for your startup business.


What Is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. What this means is that you’ll use the principles of SEO to optimize your website. When you do, your website’s visibility will go up. This will lead to increased traffic and more conversions.

Now that we know the meaning of SEO, let's cut to the chase. What is the best strategy of SEO for startups?═Big Vision Marketing═offers the following tips and advice:


Know Your Audience

Who is your audience? In other words, which demographic groups are most interested in your company’s product of services? Whose problems does your product or service solve?

More to the point, where does your audience hang out online? Do they flock to Twitter or engage on Facebook? Are they serious about LinkedIn or rallying to Instagram? Compare the demographics among the social media platforms. Then you’ll have a better idea of how to approach your target audience.




Give Priority to Keywords

Once you thoroughly understand who your clients are, you’ll have a better idea of what your clients are looking for. This can lead you to understanding what their most highly searched keywords will be. You’ll use these keywords as the centerpiece of a powerful SEO strategy for your startup.




Curate Social Media Content That Captivates

Whenever you think of keeping and growing your audience, you should always think about what interests them. In other words, create content that will help you to engage with your audience.

Additionally, in SEO for startups, as with all online marketing, it is important to optimize your content. Therefore, make sure your content is suited to your audience. Moreover, make sure it is of the highest quality. It needs to be compelling, and it needs to give your viewers something that is of interest to them, something they will value.

However, you should also focus on advertising your content across the various social media platforms. If no one sees your content, it doesn't have any value and won’t be effective.


Communicate with Your Audience

Communicate with your audience in a friendly and engaging manner. It can help to think of them as your friends and family. Respond to them if they leave messages. If they give criticism, learn how to accept it and make changes in your products and services accordingly, if that’s appropriate. Without your audience, your business would cease to exist. Therefore, always make your audience a top priority.


Focus on More Than the Most Popular Social Websites

According to Statista, a mere 10% of young adults are using Facebook today. Therefore, if young adults are your audience, take note of other websites that are hip among that crowd. For example, Twitter is where many young adults like to go to vent their frustrations and be themselves.

The key is to research social media analytics. This will help you to discover what apps and sites your audience frequently visits. A good metric is Google Analytics. There you can see your page views in real time. You can also view user demographics, activities on your site, user locations, and duration of each session on your site.




This can help you to gain understanding about how much users like your site. Moreover, it can create a cycle of audits and optimization that can boost SEO for your startup. Don't be afraid to use it, as it's free and highly useful, especially with SEO for startups.


A Final Word About SEO for Startups

Knowing more about SEO for startups will take loads of stress off your mind. Even if you decide to a hire an SEO expert who can help you in your startup business, it doesn't hurt to know the basics. Because of the rapid growth of the Internet, you should always research new tactics and strategies. Only in this way can you continually keep your SEO strategy up to date.

The post SEO for Startups: Use a Proven Strategy and Get the Results You Want appeared first on Business Opportunities.

Plugin Settings

Plugin settings are stored as preferences settings. Do not change the settings here, they are here only for illustration purposes showing the default values. Define the settings in Main.TWikiPreferences. For example, to customize the HEADLINESPLUGIN_USERAGENTNAME setting, add a * Set HEADLINESPLUGIN_USERAGENTNAME = ... bullet in Main.TWikiPreferences.

  • Refresh rate in minutes for cached feeds. Set to 0 to disable caching:

  • Maximum number of items shown:

  • Use LWP::UserAgent if set to 1, or fallback to TWiki's internal getUrl() method if set to 0:

  • Timeout fetching a feed using the LWP::UserAgent:

  • Name of user agent:
    • Set HEADLINESPLUGIN_USERAGENTNAME = TWikiHeadlinesPlugin/2011-07-08

  • Default header: (variables are explained in the syntax rules)
      * Set HEADLINESPLUGIN_HEADER = <div class="headlinesChannel"><div class="headlinesLogo"><img src="$imageurl" alt="$imagetitle" border="0" />%BR%</div><div class="headlinesTitle">$n---+!! <a href="$link">$title</a></div><div class="headlinesDate">$date</div><div class="headlinesDescription">$description</div><div class="headlinesRight">$rights</div></div>

  • Default format of one item: (variables are explained in the syntax rules)
      * Set HEADLINESPLUGIN_FORMAT = <div class="headlinesArticle"><div class="headlinesTitle"><a href="$link">$title</a></div>$n<span class="headlinesDate">$date</span> <span class="headlinesCreator"> $creator</span> <span class="headlinesSubject"> $subject </span>$n<div class="headlinesText"> $description</div></div>

  • Values taken from configure: (only supported if CPAN:LWP is installed)
    • $TWiki::cfg{PROXY}{HOST} - proxy host, such as "proxy.example.com";
    • $TWiki::cfg{PROXY}{PORT} - proxy port, such as "8080";
    • $TWiki::cfg{PROXY}{SkipProxyForDomains} - domains excluded from proxy, such as "intra.example.com, bugs.example.com";

Style Sheets

The default HEADER and FORMAT settings use the following styles. See the style.css file defining the default CSS properties (indentation illustrates enclosure).

  • headlinesRss: output of the HeadlinesPlugin (div)
    • headlinesChannel: channel header (div)
      • headlinesLogo: channel logo (div)
      • headlinesTitle: channel title (div)
      • headlinesDate: channel date (div)
      • headlinesDescription: channel description (div)
      • headlinesRight: channel copyright (div)
    • headlinesArticle: one news item (div)
      • headlinesTitle: article title (div)
      • headlinesDate: article date (span)
      • headlinesCreator: author of article (span)
      • headlinesSubject: subect category of the article (span)
      • headlinesText: article text (div)

Plugin Installation Instructions

Note: You do not need to install anything on the browser to use this plugin. The following instructions are for the administrator who installs the plugin on the TWiki server.

  • For an automated installation, run the configure script and follow "Find More Extensions" in the in the Extensions section.

  • Or, follow these manual installation steps:
    • Download the ZIP file from the Plugins home (see below).
    • Unzip HeadlinesPlugin.zip in your twiki installation directory. Content:
      File: Description:
      data/TWiki/HeadlinesPlugin.txt Plugin topic
      pub/TWiki/HeadlinesPlugin/style.css Default CSS
      lib/TWiki/Plugins/HeadlinesPlugin.pm Plugin Perl module
      lib/TWiki/HeadlinesPlugin/Core.pm Plugin core
    • Set the ownership of the extracted directories and files to the webserver user.
    • Make sure the dependencies listed in the table below are resolved.
      Digest::MD5>=2.33Required. Download from CPAN:Digest::MD5
      LWP::UserAgent>=5.803Optional. Download from CPAN:LWP::UserAgent

  • Plugin configuration and testing:
    • Run the configure script, enable the plugin in the Plugins section
    • Configure the plugin: See plugin settings above.
    • Test if the installation was successful: See example above.

Plugin Info

  • One line description, shown in the TextFormattingRules topic:
    • Set SHORTDESCRIPTION = Show headline news in TWiki pages based on RSS and ATOM news feeds from external sites

Plugin Author: TWiki:Main.PeterThoeny, TWiki:Main.MichaelDaum
Copyright: © 2002-2011 Peter Thoeny, Twiki, Inc.
© 2005-2007 Michael Daum http://wikiring.de
License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
Plugin Version: 2011-07-17
Change History:  
2011-07-17: TWikibug:Item6764: Add VarHEADLINES variable documentation; doc improvements; setting NO_PREFS_IN_TOPIC
2011-07-08: TWikibug:Item6725: Change global package variables from "use vars" to "our"
2010-05-16: TWikibug:Item6433: More doc improvements
2010-04-25: TWikibug:Item6433: Doc fix: Changing TWIKIWEB to SYSTEMWEB
2010-02-27: TWikibug:Item6313: Fixed bug in ATOM feed with <link ...></link> instead of <link ... /> -- Peter Thoeny
2009-09-30: fixed bug in lastBuildDate of feeds affecting touch parameter functionality -- Peter Thoeny
2009-08-29: added touch parameter -- Peter Thoeny
12 Feb 2009: {PROXY}{HOST} supports domain with and without protocol -- Peter Thoeny
06 Feb 2009: added {PROXY}{SkipProxyForDomains} configure setting, added USERAGENTNAME plugin setting -- Peter Thoeny
11 Dec 2008: added {PROXY}{HOST} and {PROXY}{PORT} configure settings -- Peter Thoeny
13 Sep 2007: fixed parsing of content:encoded
23 Jul 2006: improved atom parser; if a posting has no title default to 'Untitled'
26 Apr 2006: added lazy compilation
10 Feb 2006: packaged using the TWiki:Plugins/BuildContrib; minor fixes
03 Feb 2006: off-by-one: limit="n" returned n+1 articles; make FORMAT and HEADER format strings more robust
23 Jan 2006: released v2.00
05 Dec 2005: internal feed urls must be absolute
02 Dec 2005: added web.topic shorthand for internal feeds
29 Nov 2005: fixed CDATA handling
21 Nov 2005: added ATOM support; extended RSS support; added dublin core support; added content support; optionally using LWP to fetch feeds to follow redirections; corrected CPAN dependencies ; recoding special chars from html integer to entity encoding to increase browser compatibility; added css support; use getWorkArea() if available
11 May 2005: TWiki:Main.WillNorris: added DevelopBranch compatability
31 Oct 2004: Fixed taint issue by TWiki:Main.AdrianWeiler; small performance improvement
29 Oct 2004: Fixed issue of external caching if mod_perl or SpeedyCGI is used
02 Aug 2002: Implemented caching of feeds, thanks to TWiki:Main/RobDuarte
11 Jun 2002: Initial version (V1.000)
Perl Version: 5.8
TWiki:Plugins/Benchmark: GoodStyle 100%, FormattedSearch 99.5%, HeadlinesPlugin 94%
Plugin Home: http://TWiki.org/cgi-bin/view/Plugins/HeadlinesPlugin
Feedback: http://TWiki.org/cgi-bin/view/Plugins/HeadlinesPluginDev
Appraisal: http://TWiki.org/cgi-bin/view/Plugins/HeadlinesPluginAppraisal

Related Topics: VarHEADLINES, TWikiPlugins, AdminDocumentationCategory, TWikiPreferences

Topic revision: r5 - 17 Jul 2011 - TWikiContributor
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