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:

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 23:50:00 +0000
The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs
Mon, 19 Aug 2019 23:49:57 +0000 Carrol Strain
Image by rawpixel from Pixabay

Website owners who rank high for competitive keywords say they owe their results to aggressive link building. Therefore, it's hard to believe anyone might dismiss backlinks as the most important component in SEO, but it happens all the time.

However, backlinks aren’t just important. They’re critical.

If you don't hold onto backlinks as the foundation of your SEO strategy, you have slim chance of ranking your site.


However, while some site owners don’t directly dismiss backlinks, they downplay them. For instance, a Google search for ''what is the best SEO strategy'' brings up plenty of results. This includes a nine-step SEO guide from Hubspot on the first page. Of the nine steps listed in this guide, link building is only the sixth one.

Granted, Hubspot's list of components may not be ranked in order of importance. Regardless, their list gives the impression that backlinks aren't any more important than any other component.

You Can't Rank in Google Without Backlinks

Although Google has tried to get marketers to stop focusing on building links, saying it can cause more harm than good, a study performed by Moz says otherwise.

In a ranking correlation study, Moz examined Google's top 50 search results for about 15,000 keywords and found a strong relationship between external links and rankings. From the top results, 99.2% of websites had at least one external backlink.

The study also found that 22.2% of individual pages ranked without external links but only when the overall website had a solid number of backlinks. In other words, if some pages on a website have backlinks, other pages can rank well without having individual backlinks.

Put in the Work to Generate Quality Backlinks

The most important correlation the Moz study revealed is that the number of unique websites pointing to a page was highly correlated with high rankings for competitive keywords.

Backlinks aren't bad. However, Google wants marketers to avoid excessive link building that doesn't provide value. For example, reciprocal links and link farms will harm your site in the end.

In contrast, however, there is a link building strategy that provides value to everyone. This strategy requires time and effort, and it isn't an overnight solution. However, when you're willing to do the work, the rewards are great. To start reaping these benefits, check out SEO.co’s white label SEO service. Start now to generate the quality, high-level backlinks you need for getting ranked.

Can a Website Have Too Many Backlinks?

By now, you should be convinced that backlinks are still relevant and important. However, when is it too much? Can a website have too many backlinks? Probably not. A quick search on ahrefs.com shows that cars.com has 86,852,932 backlinks, 95% of which are dofollow. Moreover, those links come from 38,745 unique domains.

Looking at the breakdown of links and traffic to each of those links, it's clear backlinks aren't harmful. Cars.com is one of the most popular car websites on the Internet, coming up in the search engines for competitive keywords relating to cars and automobiles. If backlinks were harmful, surely a site with more than 86 million backlinks wouldn't rank well, right?

Don't Worry About Quantity

By now, you're probably wondering how you can get 86 million backlinks for your website. While it's certainly possible, you're not likely to have the resources necessary to accumulate that many backlinks. So don't worry about quantity. Instead, focus on quality.

Here's how to get started:

Write High-Quality Content for Other Publishers in Your Niche

Over the years, guest blogging has gotten a bad rap because it's been abused by spammers. So instead of going after any publisher you can find, take the time to craft high-quality content for specific publishers. Be patient enough to go through the process of getting your content approved by the editors and make any revisions they request. Each article will get you one link, but that one link has the potential to bring you a steady amount of traffic for years to come.

The Data Speaks for Itself: Don't Avoid Link Building

Opinions will vary and trends will come and go. However, the data never lies. No matter what you read about current SEO trends, link building remains the lifeblood of every serious SEO strategy.

The post Backlinks Are the Lifeblood of Your SEO Strategy appeared first on Business Opportunities.

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 22:24:06 +0000 Carrol Strain
Image by NRThaele from Pixabay 

Much of a company's success relies on the employees who keep the business operational on a daily basis. Therefore, it's imperative that you find ways to inspire employees.

You want to be sure that each person is operating at his or her full potential. It's only then that the company can truly flourish. Only then will your company be meeting its goals, providing an excellent customer experience, and even expanding into new markets.

So, what happens when you've taken the steps to hire the best talent who have all the necessary experience and skills, but they are failing to meet your expectations? This is when employers need to assess the situation and find ways to inspire employees. Only then can change occur. Only then will employees find their own ways to increase productivity and efficiency.

Here we look at some positive actions you can take in the workplace to inspire employees to give you their best.


Encourage Feedback and Transparency

One issue that seems to plague the employee/employer relationship is the fear of being transparent and offering feedback along the way. Employees can often feel too scared to go to their manager with an issue or even feedback for fear they will be reprimanded. And an employee who feels afraid is not an inspired employee.

Establishing an environment that is collaborative and where everyone feels free to offer feedback is key if you want to inspire employees. This should be true for your entry-level employees as well as senior management.

Create a Mentoring Program to Help Inspire Employees

Sometimes, it's not about employees lacking motivation but about them not realizing what they are fully capable of. This is when a mentoring program can prove to be extremely beneficial for all.

Mentoring programs can help to inspire employees and give them the confidence and strength to reach for their goals. These programs can even inspire them to move into more senior level positions. At the very least, they will gain a better understanding of what they are capable of.

You can help the process along by reaching out to a company like Menttium. This company will set up an internal mentoring program for you, taking all the work off your plate. Menttium will help not just with mentoring but also with developing key talent. Additionally, they will guide you toward hiring a more diverse staff as well as help with executive development, webinars, and more.

Reward Hard Work to Inspire Employees

However, if you really want to inspire employees, it’s important that you make employees feel appreciated. Do this by rewarding hard work. You could set up an incentive program for employees, for example, or find some other way to acknowledge their achievements.

Inspire Employees by Giving Them the Right Tools and Equipment

Another way to increase productivity is to make sure that you are providing employees with the best tools and equipment to get the job done. You can't provide them with outdated computers and technology and expect them to work miracles. This is not only counter-productive, but it ends up being stressful on your employees.

Change Will Happen When You Take Positive Steps

Inspiring change and increasing productivity is possible. However, it is a given when you use positive steps such as these.

The post How to Inspire Employees to Fulfill Their Potential appeared first on Business Opportunities.

Mon, 19 Aug 2019 20:50:22 +0000 Carrol Strain
Photo by Greg Studio on Unsplash

Your website is at the core of your business. Without a strong online foundation by way of your website, it can be difficult attracting and landing new customers. Moreover, behind each website is a hosting provider and server. That's why it's so important to choose the right server.

However, it's surprising how many business owners don't understand the different types of servers and the specific type of server they need for optimal business practices.

The four main types of servers are:

  • Cloud servers
  • Shared servers
  • Virtual private servers
  • Dedicated servers

If you are unsure of what type of server you have, or you don’t know when to upgrade your hosting plan for greater server performance, the following should help. Let's take a closer look so you can choose the right server for you.

Understanding Cloud Servers

One of the most popular server types is cloud servers. As the name implies, these are servers on the cloud. In fact, there are hundreds of websites on a single cloud server. However, a cloud server acts like a private server in some ways.

The best business aspect about having your website parked on a cloud server is that you can scale up or down whenever you need to. For instance, if your business is scaling fast, you can easily bump up your cloud server's performance power with a quick phone call to your hosting provider. This makes things pretty simple, so a cloud server could be the right server for you.

Knowing Shared Servers

Shared servers are the most common of all servers. They are commonly the type of server a new business owner will initially get with their hosting plan. Then the business will upgrade later when the time is right. This is good for most. However, knowing more about shared servers is important if you really want to pick the right server.

For starters, your website will be parked on a single server with many other websites. This makes it affordable for you to launch a website. But prices are low for a reason. Let's say a website on your shared server is getting a lot of traffic. That website can take over much of the server disk space and bandwidth, thus slowing your site down.


However, if you have a small, single-page website, you probably won't be affected all that much when you park your site on a shared server. And when you need to scale, simply contact your hosting provider and make a switch to a cloud server or virtual private server.

Virtual Private Server (VPS)

If a shared server isn't enough for your business website, you can take the next step up with a virtual private server, also called a VPS. A VPS is like having a number of servers at your disposal. It is one step down from dedicated server, which is a big step for any business.

So how does a virtual private server work, exactly? And is a VPS the right server for you? A VPS does share hardware with other websites, just like a shared server would. However, a virtual private server has dedicated server space just for your business site.

That's what makes a VPS so unique. They are a bit more costly, running about $50-$150 per month. However, when you need a high-performing, lightning-fast site, the extra money you'll be spending will be worth it.

Upgrading to a Dedicated Server

This is a big step, because dedicated servers are quite costly. Plus, they require more maintaining than shared, cloud, or virtual private servers. A dedicated server is a server just for your business website. There is no sharing of anything with this server type. This means you will have the highest performance levels and fewer uptime issues than any other server option.

So if you run a fast-paced, quickly scaling organization, a dedicated server could be right for you. This is because you will have total control over root permissions, and you can use your dedicated server for any other website you may want to develop in the future. For example, you could use it for starting a sister company that complements your primary business.

A dedicated server can cost upwards of $100 a month in the beginning. You will also need to ensure you have someone to manage the server and perform regular security updates. The last thing you want is a security breach or cyberattack on your dedicated server.

Choosing the Right Server for Your Business

Knowing a bit more about the different types of servers is critical to ensuring optimal growth and future success of your business. Your website is your backbone, so be sure it is performing as it should be. This is even more important in today's digital era, since user experience plays a major role in customer acquisition and engagement.

If your website is slow to load and having a lot of uptime issues, your potential customers could be lost forever. They will abandon your website and visit a competitor's site instead. This is one of the main reasons server type and performance is important. What type of server is right for your business?

The post Starting a Business? Choose the Right Server 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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