Information Centre as an RSS and ATOM feed

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1 Overview

All n One’s bxp has the ability to present information through an RSS and/or an Atom Feed. This document demonstrates how to make use of the feeds and how to manipulate information in the feeds.


A feed can power a public website's news centre. It can feed into Social Networking sites. It can save a lot of effort in providing updates. It is a versatile tool in the Marketer's arsenal.


2 Background

2.1 What is an RSS and ATOM feed?

RSS (Rich Site Summary) is a format for delivering regularly changing web content. Many news-related sites, weblogs (blogs) and other online publishers syndicate their content as an RSS Feed to whoever wants it. http://www.whatisrss.com/


RSS (most commonly expanded as "Really Simple Syndication") is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardised format.


An RSS document (which is called a "feed", "web feed", or "channel") includes full or summarised text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and authorship. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSS_feed


The name Atom applies to a pair of related Web standards. The Atom Syndication Format is an XML language used for web feeds, while the Atom Publishing Protocol (AtomPub or APP) is a simple HTTP-based protocol for creating and updating web resources. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atom_(standard)


2.2 What problem do feeds solve?

Most people are interested in many websites whose content changes on an unpredictable schedule. Examples of such websites are news sites, community and religious organisation information pages, product information pages, medical websites, and weblogs (blogs). Repeatedly checking each website to see if there is any new content can be very tedious.


Email notification of changes was an early solution to this problem. Unfortunately, when you receive email notifications from multiple websites they are usually disorganised and can get overwhelming, and are often mistaken for spam.


RSS is a better way to be notified of new and changed content. Notifications of changes to multiple websites are handled easily, and the results are presented to you well organised and distinct from email. http://rss.softwaregarden.com/aboutrss.html


2.3 Why feeds?

Web feeds benefit publishers by letting them syndicate content automatically.


They benefit readers who want to subscribe to timely updates from favoured websites or to aggregate feeds from many sites into one place. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSS_feed


2.4 How does it work for users?

A standardised XML file format allows the information to be published once and viewed by many different programs.


The user subscribes to a feed by entering into the reader the feed's URI or by clicking an RSS icon in a web browser that initiates the subscription process.


The RSS reader checks the user's subscribed feeds regularly for new work, downloads any updates that it finds, and provides a user interface to monitor and read the feeds. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSS_feed


2.5 What programs allow me access feeds?

2.5.1 Browser based

There is a free RSS reader built into Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 and later editions http://www.microsoft.com/windows/RSS/default.mspx


Firefox uses "Live Bookmarks" http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/livebookmarks.html


Firefox also has multiple add ons for RSS Feeds http://mashable.com/2007/05/26/rss-firefox-guide/


Safari 4 has an RSS Reader built in http://www.apple.com/safari/features.html#rss


2.5.2 Standalone feed readers

RSS Reader - PC http://www.rssreader.com


Google Reader - PC http://www.google.com/reader


FeedReader 3 - PC http://www.feedreader.com/


Newsgator - PC http://www.newsgator.com/


iPhone RSS Readers http://www.macworld.com/appguide/article.html?article=140310


Newsgator - iPhone http://www.newsgator.com/individuals/default.aspx


2.6 General feed information resources

The following website features many Frequently Asked Questions about RSS and offers you the chance to ask questions of people familiar with the area.

http://www.webmasterworld.com/rss_atom/


3 Feed uses

3.1 Time saving with feeds

To save a lot of time updating your public company blogs, it is possible to use BE and it's RSS feed to automatically update a number of Social Networking sites automatically.


3.1.1 RSS and Twitter

It is possible to populate Twitter using RSS Feeds http://www.wikihow.com/Add-an-RSS-Feed-to-Twitter


3.1.2 RSS and Facebook

It is possible to populate Facebook using an RSS Feeds http://www.ehow.com/how_2031209_import-rss-feed.html


3.1.3 RSS and LinkedIn

It is possible to populate LinkedIn using RSS Feeds http://www.labnol.org/internet/tools/linkedin-tips-tricks-tweaks-do-more-linkedin-profile/3158/


If you wish to update your linked in now, simply click http://www.linkedin.com/myprofile?editAdditionalInfo=&goback=.prf


3.2 Strategic Uses of feeds for business

3.2.1 Marketing

http://rss.marketingstudies.net/


  • Blogs, websites and news feeds easily kept up to date
  • Encourage adding of new items to blogs, web and news by non technical users
  • Increase inbound marketing exposure
  • Demonstrate technical capabilities of the organisation
  • Get all of your online content and marketing messages delivered to your recipients. No spam filters, no blacklists, no problems.
  • Win back your customers and prospects by finally getting your messages through to them.
  • Increase your natural search engine rankings and drive fresh traffic to your website.
  • Get your content published on other sites, generating more visitors and exposure for your business.
  • Ultimately, use RSS to increase your sales, develop profitable customer relationships and better monetise your online content.
  • RSS publishing is easy and using some tools can even be free. You can start using it today without any cost whatsoever!


3.2.2 Operations

  • System changes
  • Updates, moves and changes to services and products
  • Ensure disperse staff notification, to those even without email


4 Usage

4.1 How do I set up my feeds in bxp?

It's already done for you. You have a bxp address something like

https://ww3.allnone.ie/client/client_demo/


Your RSS feed is available at http://ww3.allnone.ie/client/client_demo/message/rssfeed.asp


Simply change the word demo, to the name of your system.


There are a few different types of feed prebuilt



4.2 How do I add items to my feeds?

Items are added to your feeds using the Information Centre.


Main Menu > Information Centre > General > Add Item to the Information Centre >


Add your message as you usually would to the Information Centre.


There is a new section at the bottom of the page


RSS facilities.png


  • RSS Link: If provided where will the news item redirect the user. Does not need to be added.


  • RSS Show Externally: This must explicitly be set to true. Therefore, by default messages, will only appear on the internal scroller. By setting this value to true, the item will be available to the world to read.


  • RSS Show Internally: You may wish the item NOT to appear on the internal scroller at all. By default it will show. By setting this value to False, it is possible to show an item externally, on the RSS Feed, but not display it internally, in the BE scoller.


4.3 Is the use of the Information Centre affected?

No. There are simply more options, and the default settings ensure that the Information Centre operates without the user having to select anything different.