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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:

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 08:36:37 +0000
The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs
Mon, 25 Jun 2018 08:36:37 +0000 Laurie Bennett
Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

With B2B selling, it can be a challenge to move your product through an indirect sales channel. In a typical B2B sales channel, you make a sale to other businesses. Those businesses in turn sell your product to an end customer. The challenge is to motivate the people who are your sales channel partners so that they sell your product instead of others.




Your Indirect Sales Channel Partners Must See Value

If there is more money involved in selling something else, your sales channel partners will most likely be interested in selling the other product rather than yours. This is why you need to be able to give them incentives. Motivating your sales channel partners in this way is far more effective than advertising your services. This is because incentives will provide value to them.


Providing Greater Value Requires Going the Extra Mile

You have to be committed to giving your sales channel partners greater perceived value.

For example, one possible way to do that is through training only a limited number of partners. Then commit to giving those partners all the training they need. This approach will help you to garner greater loyalty from your sales channel partners. That’s one way to provide more perceived value, and it will lead to more sales from your channel partners.

Click here to find out how more about you can go the extra mile.



Create Better Sales Tools

Sales channel training must go above and beyond the usual. Naturally, you provide training to your immediate sales force. This helps them to be more effective.

For your sales channel partners, however, you’ll need to provide more. For example, you need your channel partners' representatives to get data sheets, sales video, testimonials, and sales scripts. Additionally, they will need spec sheets and brochures so they can learn in depth about your product. Armed with this knowledge, they will be more eager to promote it.

What’s more, if value addition is their primary sales focus, they'll need to see how they can add greater value to your product.


Enhance Technical Support

Sales channel partners need to have greater technical support. It is your job to give them that.

Your sales channel partners enhance the product that you are selling to them. Because of that, they most likely will come across a few technical issues. Therefore, go above and beyond in terms of technical support. This is another reason why you need to maintain only a manageable number of B2B sales channel partners.


Establish Frequent and Meaningful Communication Avenues

You have to stay in constant contact with your sales channel partners. This is because it is crucial for you keep their efforts aligned with your goals. Update them frequently about your target markets, your base of operations, and any changes to the company that concern them.

An invaluable way to move forward is to provide a daily or weekly update for them. In this update, include information that they need to be effective. This update can also act as an incentive for them to stay with you. That’s because by staying in frequent communication with them, you provide them greater value. This alone can keep them from searching for greener pastures.


Provide Your Sales Channel Partners with Appropriate Incentives

Speaking of incentives, you need to have something that answers the question that is uppermost in your sales channel partners’ minds: ''What's in it for me?'' You could have a points system that earns them points for selling your products, to give just one example. They can use those points to buy a gift or prize.



If you intend for your indirect sales channels to be effective, you’re going to have to take a committed approach. Go the extra mile and your sales channel partners will remain loyal. In the process, they will provide you with a lucrative and steady source of B2B sales.

The post Go the Extra Mile with Your Sales Channel Partners and Get More Sales appeared first on Business Opportunities.

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 08:20:35 +0000 Laurie Bennett
Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom from Pexels

There are two major goals one might have when writing a business plan. That is, you are either looking to approach investors, or you’re making a plan for yourself to launch a start-up.

If you are composing a business plan for the first time, you might need some professional custom writing help. This will help you to deal with the task quickly and well.




Goal # 1. Composing a Business Plan for Investors

In this situation, you want to prove that the money investors contribute to your business will be used rationally.

To achieve this goal, your business plan should have some major characteristics:

Your presentation should be logical.

Your business plan should be clear. Further, you need to justify each described action, procedure, or term. If you have doubts about something, don’t include it unless you study this aspect in more detail. That’s because potential investors are going to ask you some uncomfortable questions. The clarity of your answers will determine whether those investors choose to invest in your company or not.

Be completely honest.

Describe everything in your business plan for investors with elegant language. Do not use negative words, and avoid using the word “risks” anywhere near your figures.

On the other hand, don’t neglect to write about possible challenges. Stress the fact that you will address each one with due diligence. However, do not make promises you can't keep.

Express confidence.

Make the appropriate presentation and include supporting statistics. Provide examples of other enterprises that are similar to yours. Express yourself in clear and simple language.

Investors can be a head taller and a whole lot smarter than you are. So don’t try to hide behind big words, despite what we said about elegant language a few paragraphs ago. Being overly clever will only reveal your uncertainty and lack of experience.



Goal # 2. Drawing up a Business Plan for Yourself

In this case, the business plan is written solely as a guide for your own actions. This plan should be as close as possible to your actual situation. Additionally, it should contain a thorough risk-assessment. Writing a business plan for yourself with someone's help═will help you to save money.


Key Elements of an Efficient Business Plan

S.W.O.T. Analysis

The idea of a S.W.O.T analysis is to assess your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, both inside and outside the company. It should be as objective as possible so as to give the most realistic picture.

Here's an example of a S.W.O.T. analysis:

Benefits of this solution:

  • The cost of production is low
  • Team will be formed only with the field specialists
  • The idea is innovative
  • The packaging will be attractive
  • Service will be impeccable

Disadvantages of the idea:

  • There is no personal retail space
  • The brand has poor recognition rates

Usually, opportunities and threats are combined together and divided into two levels. The first level deals with external factors. External factors are those to which the firm itself, its managers, and its investors are not related and cannot influence:

  • The political and economic situation in your area, country or in the world
  • Characteristics of the population in your region and its ability to buy
  • How developed the technological side is in the field of your action
  • What the demographic situation is, and so on

After studying these factors, move away from macro trends and approach realities related to the idea itself. These are usually derived from global phenomena.


  • If the technologies in your region are not developed very well, you can bring in certain innovations and get a significant market share yourself
  • You can count on additional investments from the state or other investors


  • Large customs fees for the import of raw materials
  • Strong competition in the field


Clear Goals

This part of the business plan is dedicated to what you want to achieve. This will be either a certain activity or the products or services that you are creating:

Mention the technological processes that you intend to use.

In this case, do not enumerate all the details. Instead, develop a separate application that will include all the consistent and detailed information regarding the technology the goal will require.

Clearly formulate, select and sum up the evidence for the benefits that consumers will receive.

Also, if you can, prove that what you are going to do is unique. This unique difference can be the lowest cost of production on the market, an innovative product, or something else.

Immediately indicate that you are not going to stop there. Stress that you═intend to develop the business further. Show possible ways of developing the same technology or increasing production. Discuss attracting new suppliers or developing new methods of achieving your goals.


Marketing Plan

Once you’ve assessed the industry, the product and its place in this market, move directly to your planned promotional strategy. To do this, calculate the volumes of consumption and elaborate on the potential buyers. In addition, describe the levers of influence on demand. These may include price fluctuations, the launch of an advertising campaign, improving the quality of goods, and so on.

Also, elaborate on the ways in which you are going to sell the product. Discuss how much it will cost, as well as your advertising policy and other promotional details.

Specify how buyers will purchase the goods. Indicate whether sales will be wholesale or retail. Discuss the status of buyers. Additionally, evaluate the product in terms of its appearance and cost. Describe the tasks it will perform, its service life, its shelf life, its safety in operation, and so on.



Creating a good business plan is an excellent solution for searching for investment and developing your own plan of action. Use these tips, and your business plan will provide you and your potential investors with a plan of action that will serve your business well.

The post Write an MBA-Worthy Business Plan That Will Lead You to Success 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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