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 May 2019 00:02:12 +0000
The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs
Sat, 18 May 2019 00:02:10 +0000 Carrol Strain
Photo by Kristina Evstifeeva on Unsplash

Do your employees need to beg you for permission to throw a company event? Or do you value these occasions for their morale-boosting and productivity-accelerating aspects? For the sake of presenting your employees’ possible perspective, we offer the following:

A Company Event from an Employee’s Point of View

There are many great reasons for putting on a company event, from creating a buzz and spreading the word about your business to giving something back to your staff.

But getting approval from your boss to put on an event for employees may not be as easy as you think, especially if the business owner underestimates the importance of company culture.

Nonetheless, a timely and well-organized corporate event is much more than giving employees the opportunity to let their hair down. Essentially, a corporate “do” can boost morale, increase productivity, improve information sharing, promote creativity, and help to create more bonded and focused teams.


Above all else, a company event contributes to employee engagement and shows that leaders and management value their employees.

Therefore, whether you have a vision of a fun team building day, a company summer party, or a big corporate black-tie dinner to promote employee awards, how do you get your idea approved by the boss?

Basically, you'll need to sell your idea and make your leader believe in the benefits of a corporate event as much as you do. It might not be easy, but with the right plan, there's absolutely no reason why your event can't get the go-ahead from management.

Here are the seven steps you need to take to persuade your boss to say yes.

1. Do Your Research

First, before you pitch your idea, make sure you’ve done all of your research. That’s because your boss will want to know why, when, and how you plan to put on the event, as well as how much it will cost.

Therefore, have all of your information to hand. However, first find out if the person you will be pitching to is the kind of person who prefers an executive summary or will want to know all the finer details. Tailor your pitch accordingly, and be ready for questions.

Either way, your boss will definitely want to know more about the company’s return on investment. Therefore, don't be afraid to address concerns and objections. Moreover, be prepared for a no. Simply put, make it your objective to overcome hurdles and persuade your boss to give you a green light.

Above all, consider seeking advice from an event company or venue finder ahead of time, to get an idea on cost. Function Fixers, for example, provides businesses with dry hire venues. Plus, they have a range of no-hire-fee venues on their books. This could make your costs more favorable.

2. Pitch to the Right Person

This may seem obvious, but if you need to bypass your immediate manager to get your idea in front of the person who can actually approve it, then do so with care. Notably, be sure you don't undermine your line manager. Try asking for their help or approval first, or convince them of your value to the team in making the pitch.

Keep your line manager in the dark and it could cause friction or send the message that you don't trust him or her. Getting your boss to trust you is key to making sure your idea is pitched to the person who can actually sanction it.

3. Present Your Company Event Idea as a Solution, Not a Problem

It's a good idea to show that your event concept is a solution for a common business problem. Therefore, if you want your boss to buy in to your event idea, you'll need to make a direct link between the benefits of a company event and what your boss is worrying about.

For example, if the culture in the business isn't great, and staff turnover is higher than it should be, bring facts and figures to your meeting with the boss. Use them to illustrate how a positive culture aids employee retention. This could help to swing your case.

In such a case, organizing a company event could be just the thing the business needs to boost morale. For one thing, it would show employees they are valued. Therefore, be specific about the benefits, especially around employee happiness and productivity. Especially if you can show that your event will have positive benefits on efficiency, productivity, and better customer service, your boss is more likely to be on side.

4. Focus on the Value (Not the Cost) of a Company Event

Company events, no matter how big or small, should be a part of any business strategy. That’s because a company event has many benefits and is a sure way to help engage employees with the vision and values of the business. Make the value of your idea the biggest part of your pitch. Explain how your event idea is going to help the business.


5. Show Flexibility

Always, always have a Plan B (and preferably a few more variations). Showing your boss you have some flexibility around your company event idea could help you get the eventual outcome you want. For instance, consider a smaller-scale event to test your idea without huge costs.

6. Ask for Feedback

If your boss isn't initially bowled over by your idea for a company event, find out what could be a deciding factor. Perhaps you can tweak your ideas and budget to get approval in the future. Ultimately, if the answer is no, you want to know what you would need to do to change the boss's mind.

If you have some experience with pitching ideas to the same boss, learn from your mistakes. Analyze how well (or badly) your pitches have gone in the past and revise your approach to make it better.

7. Get the Timing Right

There's little point in pitching your event idea to your boss if budgets are under scrutiny. If the company is looking for cost savings, the idea of a costly event will be seen as an extravagance, even if there are genuine business rewards.

Wait until your boss (and the company) are in a better financial place before making your pitch, or offer a more cost-friendly version to show you understand the budget restraints.


If your employees want you to throw them a barbecue in a nearby park or host a swanky event in a local ballroom, perhaps you should consider the costs and benefits carefully before you reject their ideas out of hand.

Perhaps you can find ways to compromise with them about what they want, balanced against what the company needs. Really, why not show your employees you appreciate them by throwing a company event?

The post Do Your Employees Want a Company Event? appeared first on Business Opportunities.

Fri, 17 May 2019 20:47:57 +0000 Carrol Strain

A presentation should never be one-sided. Instead, a good presentation is a conversation between you and your audience.

It can be lonely (and nerve-wracking) to be at a podium or the head of a board table. That’s why it's always helpful to get some other voices involved in your presentation. A presentation that encourages interaction is engaging, immersive, and memorable.

Besides, when you’re speaking for an extended period, you're bound to get sick of your voice at some point. So why not give yourself a break from talking by encouraging audience members to take part in your presentation? If you are looking to integrate interactive elements into future demonstrations, you can get tips to help improve your presentations from a PowerPoint design agency.

According to Forbes, the average person spends 37 percent of their time at work in presentations or meetings. Therefore, you might as well make your presentation interesting. What better way to keep people awake than to make them part of the conversation?

Work with a PowerPoint presentation design company that can help you build a presentation that is informative and engaging. There are many possible interactive elements you can integrate into your demonstration. It’s all about finding the right one for your presentation.

Ask Your Audience Questions

Ask your audience to participate in your presentation. For example, prompt your audience to guess a fact. Or ask them to share an anecdote or express an opinion on your concept or idea. The options are endless. Asking a question will help you read the room and can also help you make a point.

Give Them Answers

Give your audience a chance to ask questions. Especially if you are pitching or explaining a complex idea, prompt your audience members to ask any questions they might have. If you are worried that no one will answer, all you have to do is prepare for the scenario.

For instance, if no one wants to put their hand up or voice their question, you can always lead with, ''A common question people usually have is&hellip'' or, ''You might wonder about&hellip'' This can start providing answers to some anticipated general questions. Also, it can encourage people to follow up these posed questions with questions of their own.

Audience 2a 300w, audience-2a-768x432.png 768w, audience-2a-696x391.png 696w, audience-2a-747x420.png 747w" sizes="(max-width: 1000px) 100vw, 1000px" />

Take a Poll

You can always use poll results to make a point in your presentation. For example, poll audience members before your presentation or even during your presentation using clickers.

Pose a question or various options and allow audience members to weigh in. You can do this to make a point with the results. Or you can just use this to gauge your audience's general opinions.

If you are really looking to make an impact, use a poll to get a consensus on your audience’s opinion on a matter. Then, provide some extra information or a fact that could change their minds completely. Take that poll again and reveal the disparity in the results. This is engaging and forces your audience to think about what you are talking about.

audience 3 300w, audience-3-456x420.png 456w" sizes="(max-width: 627px) 100vw, 627px" />

Get Social

If you are a keynote speaker, it's always a good idea to further the scope of your speech. To this end, encourage audience members to take pictures and video to share across social media.

Additionally, choose a hashtag. Then when you go home you’ll see all the tweets or Instagram posts about your presentation. Hashtags will centralize any post on your speech. They will also bring it to the attention of people who missed it. This will also allow anyone who missed your speech to pinpoint the main takeaways from your presentation.


Getting social also makes it possible for you to reach out after your presentation to share any additional thoughts and thank your audience for interacting.

Include Your Audience and Enjoy More Powerful Presentations

There are countless ways to get interactive with your presentation. It's all about finding the right presentation design company to help you integrate these elements.

The post Get Your Audience Involved in Your Presentation appeared first on Business Opportunities.

Fri, 17 May 2019 16:16:10 +0000 Carrol Strain

When it comes to digital marketing strategies and the best way of getting attention for your online business, there are two central methods: SEO, or search engine optimization, and PPC, or pay per click advertising. They represent different approaches, and each has distinct benefits and difficulties.

By getting a clear understanding of each, you can make a more informed decision about the best way forward for your business. Also, you’ll understand whether you need to investigate SEO literature and trends, or PPC campaigns and services.

PPC - Pay Per Click

Pay per click marketing is an upfront cost style of marketing. Using an online payment platform, you approach a search engine (most probably Google) to arrange the placement of digital advertisements. Through a bidding system, you arrange to have advertisements that link to your website's pages placed as high as possible on the results page of a search for a particular set of keywords. The money for your bid is only collected if the person viewing your ad actually clicks through to your link.

Pros of PPC

The biggest advantages of PPC are that it is simple, testable, predictable, and scalable. PPC does not involve lots of elaborate website coding, keyword researching, traffic analysis, or extensive deals with other blogs and content creators.

With PPC, at its most basic level, you simply put in your bid. Then you specify your keywords and you are good to go. This simplicity also makes it eminently testable. You can turn a PPC campaign on and off with ease. This allows you to see clearly the difference made with your campaigns.

PPC is also very predictable. That’s because you openly specify the pages that your ads link to. In other words, with a PPC ad, you invite potential customers to link directly to your purchase pages for particular products or services. Also, by using simple adjustments to the range of keywords or the size of your bid, you can easily scale a PPC campaign.

Cons of PPC

The two biggest disadvantages of PPC are cost and behavior. PPC can be extremely expensive. Moreover, with each and every person that clicks through, it becomes exponentially more costly.

This means you are vulnerable to bounces, people who visit your page but do not buy. Therefore, PPC creates the strange situation where people not buying your product can actively cost you money. PPC ads are also more likely to be the target of ad blocking software. And they’re defenseless against people’s instinctive advertisement avoidance.

SEO vs PPC 2 300w, SEO-Start-up-office-768x513.jpg 768w, SEO-Start-up-office-696x465.jpg 696w, SEO-Start-up-office-629x420.jpg 629w" sizes="(max-width: 1000px) 100vw, 1000px" />

SEO - Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is a more organic approach to marketing. Rather than paying the search engine directly, you engineer the contents of your website so that it contains certain keywords. This in turn draws the attention of search engines.

Other SEO processes involve reaching out to other websites and blogs and either requesting or purchasing posts that will link back to your page. This is called “backlinking.” The more backlinks there are to your page, the better regarded your website will be by the search engines.

This is just the barest bones of what SEO involves, but the broad principles are here. As the name suggests, it is about optimizing the content of your website for the benefit of the search engine.


Pros of SEO

The biggest advantages of SEO are that it is relatively inexpensive, it has exceptional longevity, and it takes advantage of intrinsic Internet behavior. Although aspects of SEO can be paid for, most of it is functionally free. Instead, it involves strategies like regular blog posting, collaborative linking, and generally making good content.

While this can be time-intensive, the results it produces once it gets going can last for a long time. Moreover, these results do not require the constant stream of investment that PPC needs. Furthermore, because it is linked to using natural results of a search engine, rather than paid advertising, it is immune to ad blocking software. In fact, many Internet users offer more trust to pages they find in the upper to mid-tier of their search results.

Cons of SEO

SEO may be free, but as has been mentioned it is time-intensive. PPC simply involves filling in a form and arranging payment. For SEO it can take weeks, or even months, before you find yourself on the first page of a search engine's results page.

SEO is also highly unpredictable. You can do your best to target your content toward particular keywords. However, you have no way of knowing which ones will lead online browsers to your page. Nor can you predict which of your pages they will come across first. If you are looking to make particular product pages successful during specific seasons, SEO is an unwieldy tool to accomplish this goal.


SEO and PPC are different beasts. Depending on your business model, the industry you work in, and many other factors, their advantages and disadvantages will interact with you in different ways. There is no right or wrong approach, only the approach that fits you and your business best.

The post PPC vs SEO: The Pros and the Cons appeared first on Business Opportunities.

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 - 13 Feb 2009 - 03:55:45 - TWikiContributor
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