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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.


  • RSS (Rich Site Summary) is an XML standard used to publish frequently updated works such as blog entries, news headlines and audio.
  • Atom is an XML syndication format used for web feeds.
  • Syndic8.com at 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:

Business Opportunities Weblog


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

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

Sat, 07 Dec 2019 18:36:15 -0600
The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs
Sat, 07 Dec 2019 18:36:14 +0000 Carrol Strain
Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay 

Every multi-billion-dollar business you have ever heard of was once just an idea. As that idea grew into a startup, an entrepreneur began working toward the enormous profits many of us admire and aspire to today. Along the way, that hardy soul naturally made multiple blunders.

In fact, many entrepreneurs face catastrophic failure. Only the sturdiest among them rises from the ashes and rebuilds.


In this post, we take a look at some common startup blunders we can all learn from, so you can avoid making the mistakes others before you have made.

Succumbing to a Fear of Failure

Some people give up before they ever get started, due either to a fear of failure or, surprisingly, a fear of success.

Fear will keep you circling around the same blunders over and over because you won’t want to try new things. As a result, your great ideas will remain just that. They will be ''great ideas'' for all time.

So don’t let fear rule your world. Give yourself permission to fail and step outside of your comfort zone. You’re going to make mistakes. Just accept that and try to learn the lessons your mistakes teach you. It’s the only way to win.

Failing to Study the Lay of the Land

One of the biggest blunders you can make as an entrepreneur is failing to conduct thorough research on the ground.

Your type of business should match the needs of your target customers. Bring to them a product or service they need. Make sure the quality of that product or service is impeccable.

Then create awareness about your offering with skillful marketing. In fact, be sure to invest in marketing. Great marketing will pay off in the long run.

Building on a Poor Foundation

Don’t make the blunder of failing to lay a strong foundation. And pay attention to detail. Small errors when you’re first starting out can grow into ginormous failures over time. However, with careful planning and attention to detail, you can win the game.

Failure to Follow the Law

Unfortunately, many up-and-coming entrepreneurs don't pay as much attention as they should to laws and regulations governing businesses in their country. Unfortunately, these blunders can catch up with you eventually.

For example, some entrepreneurs try to evade paying their taxes. This is not a good strategy, and it is sure to lead to tax audits, sleepless nights, and worse.

If you have already made this blunder, don’t hesitate to contact experienced tax professionals for the IRS audit help you need to protect your business and its assets.

Doing Things Your Own Way

It could be that you enjoy being self-reliant. While this may be good stand in some situations, refusing to ask for help when you need it could lead to ruin for your business. Even in the very beginning, you’re going to need to rely on others. Trying to handle everything in your startup all by yourself will drain you.

This doesn’t mean you need to employ a bunch of workers you won’t be able to pay. That would be a huge blunder!

But do hire specialists when you need them on a short-term basis. And seek out a mentor, perhaps another entrepreneur with a little more experience than you have. At the very least, build a relationship with a colleague you can bounce ideas off of from time to time.

Hiring a Weak Workforce

When your business has grown to a point that it’s time to hire employees, be sure to do your hiring thoughtfully and carefully.

Finding the right people to work with you can lead your business to success. Moreover, make sure your employees understand your goals and your vision. Only in this way can they can help you fulfill your goals.

Additionally, invest in your employees. For instance, provide them with training to enable them to better perform the work you pay them to do. This will keep on-the-job blunders to a minimum. Build relationships with them, and interact with them on a personal level. Let them get to know you so they can learn how you want things done.

Also, acknowledge their efforts. Remember that their successes on the job lead toward the growth of your business. Don’t make the mistake of bossing your employees around. Instead, welcome them as your partners in achieving success for your business.

Avoid These Blunders and Make Your Own Unique Mistakes Instead

While it’s not possible to build a business from scratch and avoid making any blunders, it is possible to beat the odds and reach the top. All you’ll need are confidence, strategic thinking, and plenty of hard work.

For more inspiring articles written with you, the entrepreneur, in mind, be sure to visit our blog often.

The post Don't Do This! Ruinous Startup Blunders appeared first on Business Opportunities.

Fri, 06 Dec 2019 22:28:05 +0000 Carrol Strain
Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

When marketing strategies lose their effect on target audiences, companies must find new ways to keep them interested in their brand. That's where marketing automation comes in. Marketing automation is the process of using web-based services and software to manage and automate marketing tasks.

Find out how marketing automation can help your business grow. Read now about five effective strategies.

1. Use Marketing Automation to Offer Content That Keeps Leads Interested

Marketing automation is all about providing digital content to your target audience. Unlike traditional content such as billboards and newspaper articles, marketing automation content can easily be found online when prospects search for specific keywords.

It's important to create content that's both engaging and relevant to what your business sells. This is because the incorrect information could result in the loss of leads to customer conversion.

Because it changes according to the past interests or behaviors of your leads, this type of marketing automation is called adaptive content. Typically, this type of content is personalized. For example, emails will have leads’ names on them. This creates an immediate connection.

Marketing automation content allows the lead to view and engage with what's being presented without talking face-to-face with a sales representative. Most people prefer to deal with B2B (business to business) this way because it allows them to be flexible with their buying choices.

Content by way of marketing automation can be in the form of:

  • Email newsletters
  • Direct social media messages
  • VIP promotions sent via SMS


2. Set up a Drip Campaign to Reel in Prospects

A drip campaign is an automated communications strategy that sends short messages to prospects based on their past online behaviors.

For example, if a prospect is browsing through your web page and they click on a particular product, you can use marketing automation to send them newsletters, sales, or promotions on similar products via email or SMS.

A drip campaign is another way to personalize your engagement with prospects. This could convert them into regular paying customers. This is because drip campaigns have a higher click-through rate when you present prospects with personalized promotions and sales.

3. Turn to Professionals for Expert Marketing Automation Services

If you realize you don’t have the training or background in marketing automation strategies, why not reach out to a professional? There are marketing automation companies that specialize in creating and distributing quality content that will keep your target audience interested in your brand.

The advantage of using a marketing automation service is they will structure and plan your campaigns for you. In fact, professional marketing automation services will provide you with the quality advice you need to run successful campaigns.

Marketing automation companies have the digital tools to optimize your marketing campaigns. Therefore, you can rest assured that a professional automated marketing campaign will bring in new business. Additionally, it will keep existing customers interested in your brand.

4. Learn to Use a Nurture Campaign

Having high traffic on your website doesn't mean all your visitors are ready to buy from you. However, because they're browsing through your website they ARE potential customers. In other words, they might buy your products in the future.

Leads that aren't ready to buy what you're selling require nurturing via marketing automation. This is done by presenting them with personalized content that's tailored to their needs. When you nurture your leads you'll often have a 50% increase in customer conversions simply by sending them adaptive content.

You can nurture your leads by sending them VIP access to parts of your website only they can access. Here you can offer coupons or sales on selected products and services. Another way you can nurture a lead is by offering them free eBooks, tutorials, or getaways if they buy something from your online store.

5. Personalize Emails You Send to Your Prospects

According to TechJury, lead-nurturing emails have an 8% click-through rate. On the other hand, generic emails only have a 3% click-through rate. In short, people are more likely to click on your content when they're referred to by their name.

Another study found that 7% of people would engage with a service provider if they were sent birthday emails.

Using emails as a platform to engage with leads in a personalized way is a professional approach. Yes, you can also send private messages to prospects via social media. However, most people consider these messages to be click bait. So always opt for marketing automation emails to gain more trust from leads.

The way to get leads to give you their email addresses if you don't already have them is by implementing the drip campaign technique. Offer them something valuable in exchange for their contact details. Then you can send them personalized content they will benefit from.

Final Thoughts About Marketing Automation

Are you ready to implement your own marketing automation strategies? There are various automation tools you can use to optimize your marketing campaigns. However, if you're looking for a more professional approach, opt for a service provider to do your marketing automation for you.

Learn more about the latest in marketing strategies by visiting our blog.

The post Marketing Automation: 5 Methods You Need to Be Using 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

This is a pre-installed plugin. TWiki administrators can upgrade the plugin as needed on the TWiki server.

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:Sorted ascending
      pub/TWiki/HeadlinesPlugin/style.css Default CSS
      lib/TWiki/HeadlinesPlugin/Core.pm Plugin core
      lib/TWiki/Plugins/HeadlinesPlugin.pm Plugin Perl module
      data/TWiki/HeadlinesPlugin.txt Plugin topic
    • 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: © 2002-2013 Peter Thoeny, TWiki.org
© 2005-2007 Michael Daum wikiring.de
License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
Plugin Version: 2013-02-16
2013-02-16: TWikibug:Item7091: Use TWISTY in installation instructions section and change history
2013-01-29: TWikibug:Item7131: HeadlinesPlugin doesn't match pattern in multiple lines.
2012-12-10: TWikibug:Item7070: HeadlinesPlugin doesn't support multiple disks.
2012-11-13: TWikibug:Item7016: Restore changes for earlier versions with LWP
2012-11-13: TWikibug:Item7020: Categorize TWiki Variable
2012-10-31: TWikibug:Item7016: Utilize <guid> value when it is available
2012-09-05: TWikibug:Item6837: Doc fixes
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
Plugin 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: r8 - 2013-02-16 - 18:01:51 - TWikiContributor
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