Headlines Plugin


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/ ) is a good site listing many RSS feeds.

Syntax Rules


Parameter Explanation Default
"..." source of RSS 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. Can 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. Can 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

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. Nnote, that some of the variables are already used above. This is done by purpose to use different feeds with the same formating parameters. If there's a conflict the non-dc tags have higher precedence, i.e. a <title> content </title> is prefered 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 refering to the <content:encoding> content </content:encoding>.


Slashdot News


  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="3"}%

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

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 01:26:37 +0000
The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs
Fri, 17 Feb 2017 20:44:17 +0000 Bizop Team

10 Things You Should do to Market Your Business Online


Online advertising is slowly taking over more traditional forms of marketing. In the event you currently have little or no online presence, you will want to jump on the online train so you do not get left behind. Here are some easy steps you can take to boost your exposure and ultimately draw in more customers.


  1. Figure Out Your Goals


Establishing a marketing plan can be difficult to do without knowing what it is you want to achieve. Your goals could be to increase sales, develop a larger customer database or enhance your social media following and all of those are great goals. However, the more specific you can be with each of them the better off your plan will be. In other words, your goal should not just be to “increase sales.” Instead, it should be to “increase sales by 20 percent by the end of the year.”


  1. Build Your Brand


Effective marketing is reliant on knowing what sets your business apart from the competition. Every message you send out through your website, email announcements and social media channels needs to be on-brand. Highlight the aspects of your business that are unique. What is it that you do that is extra special or makes you – you? It could be that you offer the fastest delivery or the most unique styles or the best customer service. Whatever it is, use it in your campaign always – to really brand yourself.

Keep in mind too that your business type will also affect the types of social media pages you utilize. For example, if your business is dependent on visuals, then setting up Instagram and Pinterest accounts would be advantageous as they are both very visual platforms.


  1. Utilize Social Media


At the very least you will want to have a Facebook and/or Twitter account. Use these accounts every day if possible and be sure to your followers and customers. If you do not have time to do it yourself, hire someone to do it for you.

Most social media pages provide you with metrics, so you can keep track of what posts did well and which ones did not. This allows you to know what type of marketing to focus on going forward. If you have not already posted today, then go ahead and post right now. Give it a try – it’s fun!


  1. Develop an Email Campaign


Directly emailing people is a great way to stay in your customers' minds. When people visit your storefront, encourage them to sign up for your mailing list, so they stay in the loop. Some helpful tips for effectively utilizing an email marketing campaign include:


  • Emailing frequently enough so you stay in people's minds – but not so often you annoy anyone (monthly is good)
  • Include valuable content your customers will want to read
  • Write an interesting subject line so they will open the email
  • Include links in the email back to your website and to your social medial channels
  • Invite your customers to FB like you, come in to the store or call for an appointent (according to what you do)


  1. Implement SEO Practices


Search engine optimization is the practice of using valuable keywords in your company's online content so that it appears higher up in search engine rankings. Any business with a website can use Google Analytics to determine what local keywords to include. Proper SEO also entails using keywords in URL links and adding meta descriptions and title tags on web pages.


  1. Create Shareable Content


It is not enough for a business to simply create web pages. You want to be certain the content you are publishing is something people will want to share while still being relevant to your business. As an example, a restaurant could make a blog post about a recipe people can make at home while also promoting new menu items. Your audience will be more likely to engage in the content and share it on their social media pages.


  1. Use Special Techniques for Promotions


If your business is offering a temporary promotion, then you need to get the word out fast. Pay per click campaigns are useful in this endeavor because they can be fully customized to meet your needs. You can use geotargeting so that only potential customers in your city see the ads. With these campaigns, it is more beneficial to focus on enticing visuals rather than a lot of text. After the campaign is over, you can view the metrics to see how effective it was and if there is anything that should be changed in the future.


  1. Establish Text Campaigns


This is similar to an email campaign in that you have customers give you their mobile phone numbers when they sing up for your newsletter or other name capture element to your website. This way, when you have a special promotion, you can text individuals so they get a notification immediately. You will want to time your messages properly, so people receive them at opportune times of the day. For instance, if you sell pizza via delivery, 3 to 4pm is a good time to send a text message as people are hungry and worrying about what to make for dinner.

Additionally, you want to remain engaging while always staying on brand.


  1. Make Your Website Mobile Friendly


More people are researching businesses on smartphones than traditional computers. Therefore, it is prudent to ensure your website can be easily viewed, and items ordered, on mobile devices. If it is impossible for someone to look up information about your business on a phone, then he or she will go elsewhere. Your company needs to be accessible from every possible platform.


  1. Promote Any News


Customers like feeling as if they are part of the family. If something big happens around your business, feel free to talk about it on social media. This can include hiring a new person or talking about any new inventory that came in.

You can get started on any of these tips today with an eye toward the future. Social media, apps and SEO are not going away so start building your online presence right now. You will be very glad you did.

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 04:30:39 +0000 Bizop Team

The Future of Boutiques & Fashion

Trends change fast in today's technology-led world. If you went back in time, hardly anyone would be talking about Instagram as a key driver of fashion or acknowledge that most people are happily using online shopping platforms instead of visiting boutique shops. Suffice it to say that the future of the fashion world will look very different that what we are seeing now. Predictions are always difficult, but if you want to dream about what the future of fashion might look like, here are some of the fascinating trends we see ahead:


Everyone can become a designer

Until now, fashion design has been left up to professional designers who personalize each item they make and sell. However, with the advent of the 3D printer, the future of fashion design seems it will be far more available to anyone and everyone. For example, you will be able to design more personalised products and even print out your own creations at home.

What could this mean for the fashion world and designers everywhere? The prediction is that new clothing lines will start popping up throughout the year with far more designers able to access the trade. Retailers will swap larger collections for a more ever changing line-up with new and constant designs coming at every turn. So a far better variety indeed.


Fashion and technology continues to merge

You've probably heard the term 'wearables' by now. The idea of clothing that has in-built technology has been around for quite a while, with the predictions slowly becoming a reality. The merging between fashion and technology is going to speed up and it might be hard to know which industry is driving which at some point in the future.

Heather Picquot told Who What Wear that, ''wearables are becoming much more comfortable and fashion focused. A great example is Samsung's Body Compass that was unveiled at CES 2016in January. It's a tank top with a tiny visible metal disk, a bottle cap-sized sensor.'' This particular fashion item can measure your heart rate and keep an overall check on your health and we think that’s amazing.

While the discussion has so far been mainly about how health will be monitored with wearables, future predictions indicate the addition of social elements and wow factors to fashion trends. Utility and functionality will no longer be the focus of these technologies. It might be fun to have a jacket that closes itself when the temperature drops!


Sustainable choices

The fashion world is being pushed by consumers towards a much more sustainable model with social responsibility at the forefront. Consumers are much more aware of the impact their shopping decisions can have. While people will continue to buy nice things and update their wardrobe regularly, they will want to do so in a way that doesn't put strain on the climate or harm the planet or people. Brands like Adidas are already investing in inventions like their their recycled sneaker. Stella McCartney has begun using new, cutting-edge materials that provide consumers with a more sustainable choice - without having to forego great fashion elements.


Mobile shopping is the new black

When it comes to buying beauty and fashion items, online shopping will continue be a buyer’s dream come true. The convenience of using online stores to find great things and update your wardrobe without ever leaving your home will be quite appealing to people with busy, hectic lives. Online shopping will also continue to transition from the laptop to mobile devices so online retailers should be getting themselves ready for that in a big way.

Smartphone shopping will be the future of shopping. The market research firm Forrester has predicted mobile purchases to account for nearly 50% of e-commerce by 2020. Beyond this, it's hard to see why the market share wouldn't just continue to increase.

Companies are already acknowledging this with responsive websites and shopping apps. Cult Beauty is one example of an online beauty products retailer getting ready with their online presence and mobile site.


Pop-up shops

It is possible the traditional brick-and-mortar store may become a thing of the past, with more agile options taking center stage. Pop-up shops are already a big thing in the food industry, but fashion is likely to follow next. Any future store will have to adapt to its customer and become increasingly convenient and accessible - this is likely to mean that you can soon shop in hotels, cars and even your home.


The changing times are exciting for the fashion and boutique industry. Big changes are already in the making and older brands and concepts that do not take heed may miss out in the future. It is likely that new businesses, store fronts and designers will come to the forefront and steal market share. Whatever the future brings, it is an exciting time with fascinating trends, technology and change in the world of fashion and boutique stores.

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 04:01:43 +0000 Bizop Team

Advantages of Buying or Leasing a Home

If you are thinking of starting a business and wondering whether it’s better to buy or lease a home, there are a few things you might want to consider before you decide.

For one, think about your capital. It can take quite a bit of money to make a down payment on a home purchase. That is not necessarily bad, unless you think you will need that same capital to start your company, buy inventory, lease space or buy required equipment to grow.


Another question you might want to ask yourself is if you plan on staying in your area for more than 5 year. If the answer is a resounding yes, and you have the capital, buying might be an excellent idea for you. If, however, you are thinking you might want to change neighborhoods in the near future, renting sounds like a better fit.

There are some advantages and disadvantages when it comes to leasing vs. buying so let’s go over those here:


Leasing Pros

Leasing means a much more temporary situation. You can avoid the responsibilities of owning a property such as maintenance, appliance repairs, upgrades and so on. You also won’t have to worry about things like lawn care, pool maintenance, tennis court repair and in some cases, even A/C filter and light bulb changes. If you live in a community like Vintage apartment homes as an example, everything will be taken care of for you in the rent you pay each month for your lease.


Leasing Cons

Leasing has disadvantages too. When you lease, you are not in control of your property. You will have to follow all community rules imposed by the owner. You might not be allowed to keep pets or smoke in the apartment and usually guests can spend a limited amount of time at your home. In addition, as rental rates rise, so may your lease rent. If you are looking to lease an apartment, and are in the Atlanta area, you might find more affordable rates at places such as  Altana Glendale and Aventine apartments.


Buying Pros

A home purchase can be regarded as an investment so when the market rises, as an owner, you earn that appreciation in price. You are also the king of your own castle. You can paint the interior any color you choose, have guests over for extended periods, keep pets and basically do as you please. After all, you are your own landlord.


Buying Cons

You have to come up with capital for down payment money and that might be funds you need to start, run or grow your business. Only you know your unique situation so you have to think seriously about it. Another disadvantage of owning is when something breaks or leaks, it is your responsibility to fix it. Finally, if something changes in your life, and you find yourself wanting to move quickly, it is more difficult to do so when you own your own place. You can decide to rent it out but then you have to deal with tenants. Selling is another option and does tend to take more time and effort than giving 30 days notice and being free to move – as with leasing.

Both buying and leasing have their advantages and disadvantages. It really comes down to whether or not you have the capital, plan to stay in the area a while, are comfortable taking on home repair responsibilities and think you may need the money for other things – like starting your own business! Truly, only you can decide.

Plugin Settings

Plugin settings are stored as preferences variables. To reference a plugin setting write %<plugin>_<setting>%, for example, %HEADLINESPLUGIN_SHORTDESCRIPTION%. Note: Don't modify the settings here; copy and customize the settings in Main.TWikiPreferences. For example, to customize the USERAGENTNAME setting, create a HEADLINESPLUGIN_USERAGENTNAME setting in Main.TWikiPreferences.

  • 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

  • Refresh rate in minutes for cached feeds. Disable caching: 0, default: 60
    • Set REFRESH = 60

  • Maximum number of items shown. Default: 100
    • Set LIMIT = 100

  • Use LWP::UserAgent, or fallback to TWiki's internal getUrl() method. Default: yes

  • Timeout fetching a feed using the LWP::UserAgent. Default: 20

  • Name of user agent. Default: TWikiHeadlinesPlugin/2.21
      * Set USERAGENTNAME = TWikiHeadlinesPlugin/2.21

  • Default header: (variables are explained in the syntax rules)
      * Set 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 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

  • Download the ZIP file
  • Unzip it in your twiki installation directory. Content:
    File: Description:
    data/TWiki/HeadlinesPlugin.txt plugin topic
    pub/TWiki/HeadlinesPlugin/style.css default css
    lib/TWiki/HeadlinesPlugin.pm plugin perl module
    lib/TWiki/HeadlinesPlugin/Core.pm plugin core
    Check if above examples show a news feed instead of variable.
  • Optionally, run HeadlinesPlugin_installer.pl to automatically check and install other TWiki modules that this module depends on. You can also do this step manually.
  • Alternatively, manually 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 Info

Plugin Author: TWiki:Main.PeterThoeny, TWiki:Main.MichaelDaum
Copyright: © 2002-2009, Peter Thoeny, TWIKI.NET; 2005-2007, Michael Daum http://wikiring.de
License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
Plugin Version: v2.21 - 12 Feb 2009
Change History:  
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: TWiki:Plugins/HeadlinesPlugin
Feedback: TWiki:Plugins/HeadlinesPluginDev
Appraisal: TWiki:Plugins/HeadlinesPluginAppraisal

-- TWiki:Main.PeterThoeny - 12 Jan 2009
-- TWiki:Main.MichaelDaum - 13 Sep 2007

Topic revision: r1 - 2009-02-13 - 03:55:45 - TWikiContributor
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