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:

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 04:06:00 +0000
The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs
Thu, 22 Feb 2018 04:06:00 +0000 Bizop Team

Image Source: https://adeptia.com

What Is Customer Data Onboarding and Do I Need It in My Business?

If you do customer data onboarding right, marketing will be a breeze and your customers will be delighted.

Many business owners are aware of the benefits. Therefore, they make the necessary investments to acquire customer onboarding software. However, many of their plans fall flat. That’s because they choose a solution that complicates their lives. However, things don’t have to go this way.

In this post, we discuss what you should look for in data onboarding software. Because customer data onboarding done right will benefit your business.


What Is Customer Data Onboarding?

In simple terms, customer data onboarding is the process of transferring offline data into online systems. The right software can ease the process and leave you with a system in which you can easily communicate with customers about your business. That’s because you’ll be able to segment your customer database in a variety of ways. This will allow you to precisely aim your marketing messages to specific groups.

In other words, a good customer data onboarding process will allow you to define how your business relates to your customers. It is the first step in delivering better customer service. Moreover, if you execute this process effectively, you’ll be better able to fully engage your target customers. In turn, this will allow you to build long-lasting relationships with them.

However, the customer data onboarding process is not something you do once and then forget about it. It’s called a process for a reason. This process relies on real-time data integration, device flexibility, and multi-channel responsiveness. What’s more, the process will also vary depending on the type of business you own.




The Benefits of Customer Data Onboarding

Customer onboarding has been going on since the dawn of business. It simply refers to the process of acquiring a real customer in real time. Customer data onboarding, however, refers to the process of capturing data about your customers in online forms.

There are a number of benefits that come along with the process of customer data onboarding. For one thing, smart organizations have successfully managed to reduce churn and improve customer satisfaction.

Further, a well orchestrated data onboarding process ensures faster time to revenue and makes customer engagement more enjoyable for your marketing team as well as for your customers. Business operations become smoother and more successful.

But the best part of all is that your organization will deliver more personalized services to your customers. And you will do so faster and in better ways.

Naturally, you have an eye on your competition. If you want to stay ahead, you need to bring customers on board faster than your competitors do. And you need to treat those customers better and make them happier than your competitors do. This is where customer data onboarding really delivers the goods. Use it to pull ahead of your competition.


Select the Right Customer Onboarding Software

Below is a checklist for selecting the right customer data onboarding software for your business.


Evaluate the Data Onboarding Tool Against Your Customers’ Needs

Evaluate your customers’ needs before investing in an onboarding tool. Choose technologies that align with the customer-centric data you already have. This will allow you to reap more benefits from your onboarding software.


Identify a Tool for Marketers and Business Analysts

Your development team can help you with your decision about which software to choose. However, keep in mind that they will not be the end users of the data. Your marketing team will be the primary users, and business analysts will use the data for analytical purposes. So ensure that you select a tool that is easy to use as well as comprehensive enough to satisfy all end users.


Select a Service-Oriented Architecture

A service-oriented architecture will give your new system agility and flexibility. Business users can share templates to create workflows. What’s more, they will be able to use those templates over and over again as the marketing team brings on new customers.


Ensure Data Governance

The data onboarding software you choose should have accelerators for ensuring data governance. This means that users should be able to track data and monitor it for errors and redundancy.




Use the checklist here to improve business outcomes and reduce disruptions as you implement customer data onboarding. Learn more about the customer data onboarding process and how to optimize it for better outcomes for your business.

Because when customer data onboarding is done right, your marketing team will cheer and your customers will be delighted.

The post What Is Customer Data Onboarding and Do I Need It in My Business? appeared first on Business Opportunities.

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 02:14:12 +0000 Bizop Team

Improve Your Business Leadership Skills for Greater Success

Almost every successful joint effort throughout history has been spearheaded by the actions of a leader. It stands to reason that you should develop your business leadership skills. Only in this way can you expect to lead your company to success.

Strong armies conquer new terrain. Skilled sports teams achieve domestic and international superiority. In each case, the importance of at least one true leader has always been a prerequisite to success. In any successful business, the same rule applies. Whether you are an established CEO or you have aspirations to lead your own company, the ability to lead will help you achieve your vision.




Have a Clear and Expert Understanding of Your Field

Remember that even a genius asks questions. You should never stop learning. These days, things have a tendency to change very quickly. What’s more, a booming technology dictates how we approach business and our concerns. Therefore, there is simply no room for anyone who chooses not to grow.

Don’t be left behind. Keep up to date with as much as you can. And get as many ideas from your peers as possible. For example, study top financial blogs daily. Try to identify the trends among your competition.


Lead by Example at All Times

Remember that business leadership begins at the bottom. In other words, some of your newest staff members will have designs on your job. If you have established a culture in your business where professionalism is expected, ensure that you are the one who shows how it is done.

Dress the way you want your staff to dress. Speak as you would like your managers or supervisors to speak. Additionally, encourage others to follow your time keeping, communication and relationship management skills. Also encourage your marketing team to emphasize your digital presence.


Always Be a Presence, Even in Your Absence

Being distant and operating from behind closed doors might work for some bosses. However, there is nothing more appealing to workers than a present, relatable superior with strong business leadership skills. Of course, board meetings, functions, and visits to other sites or areas are essential. All the same, ensure that you make time to spend with your staff.

Make it a priority to visit the office as often as you can. Ensure that you have a desk that is positioned to be visible to your workers. This means that you will be in their minds even when you are not around. Circulate an email every once in a while to address key issues or commendations to your staff. When you do, remind them that you are always in the loop. Improper leadership can seriously affect your business’s chances of success.



Make Frequent Meetings with Staff Members a Priority

Getting everyone together and keeping them updated on company progress helps to establish trust. Additionally, it contributes to your staff’s level of bonding with you and among themselves. Encourage your employees to voice concerns within the group. Ensure that you tailor your answers to their concerns. Make sure that each person feels their needs have been addressed.

Your staff will respond well when you do this. They will be happy to work for a leader who is genuinely interested in how things are going on the front lines. Your staff will labor tirelessly for a boss who shows them clear direction. They will support a captain who steers the ship to dry land in every crisis.

Additionally, recognize performers on your staff for their accomplishments. On the other hand, deal with lazy, rogue, or careless employees appropriately.


Assert Your Company Ethos and Brand in Practice

You have a way of doing things. What’s more, you expect everyone else to do the same as an expression of your company’s brand. Remind your staff of your company’s key values. Further, incorporate those values into the company’s environment.

Let each and every individual member of your workforce know what you require of them. Further, be as realistic as possible with your expectations.

Communicate your values visually. Visual aids, stationery and motivating photos can help. However, the most effective way to communicate your expectations is the old-fashioned way. In other words, demonstrate good business leadership.

For example, is your company a benevolent and caring community business? Then look at sponsoring local charity events. Better yet, arrange for a volunteer day for you and a number of volunteers from your staff. You could clean up the playground at a local orphanage. Or perhaps repaint the exterior of a retirement home.


Good Leadership Breeds Strong Leaders

When you lead by example, your staff members will want to emulate you. Your company will only grow stronger. And it will be more successful as a result.

The post Improve Your Business Leadership Skills for Greater Success appeared first on Business Opportunities.

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 02:07:18 +0000 Bizop Team

Banks vs. Alternative Lenders: Which Is Best for Small Businesses?

The financial crisis of 2008 is a decade behind us. However, the top financial challenge facing small business owners continues to be access to credit. Today, 6 out of 10 small businesses in the U.S. are financially underserved. They struggle to find the funds to grow. When they do seek funds, they often turn first to those they know: main street banks.

Traditional bank loans offer many benefits. These include predictable monthly payments, low and fixed interest rates, direct access to an adviser, and the ability to build your business credit score. However, this is true only if you qualify. Moreover, you must be willing to put in the necessary work to verify all your credentials. Banks have stringent lending requirements. Businesses must be able to show success and a healthy cash position. In addition, banks require substantial collateral. This includes such things as property, equipment, or inventory. Collateral protects the bank’s investment.




Business Bank Loans Remain Notoriously Difficult to Obtain

Unfortunately, bank lending terms make it difficult for many small businesses to qualify for a loan. It's a reality borne out by the latest data: Banks approve only 24% of the applications they receive from small businesses. In truth, they often cannot lend less than $100,000 profitably. Yet the average small business is only looking for $20,000 to $40,000 in funding.

There are many reasons for this staggeringly high rejection rate. Lenders decline many loan applications because the business owner's personal credit doesn't meet a minimum threshold. That’s because banks look at both personal and business credit scores to make lending decisions. A lot of factors affect these scores. These include such things as insufficient credit history and late or missed payments to vendors and credit card companies.

Another reason that lenders decline loan applications is inadequate cash flow. Lenders want to know that you're capable of repaying the loan while covering your other business expenses.

Likewise, small businesses can also be the targets of aggressive sales tactics or hidden fees that significantly inflate the total cost of borrowing.



Businesses Turn Instead to Personal Savings, a Risky Alternative

Because of these strict requirements, many businesses struggle to make investments that could take their success to the next level. Most turn to personal financing to fill the gap, which can expose them to risk. According to the SBA, 67% of small businesses depend on personal savings to fund growth, And only 14% make use of a bank loan.

Perhaps even more disheartening is that many business owners simply give up. They think that if anyone is going to give them a loan then it must be a bank. Then, if a single bank declines  their application, they think everyone else will decline them, too. They don't realize that there are many different types of funding products available.


Alternative Financing: A Different Approach to Small Business Credit

With traditional loans notoriously difficult to get, small businesses are increasingly turning to alternative financing options. ''Alternative lending'' or ''alternative financing'' are terms that describe any lending option that's different from a traditional bank. Some common examples include crowdfunding, invoice financing, and lines of credit.

Alternative financing has many advantages. These benefits include speed, convenience, and looser requirements than traditional loans. This is good news for many small businesses who have not been served well by existing funding options, most of which rely on FICO scores.

For example, small business financing solutions from fintech company Fundbox have helped thousands of small businesses. Instead of relying on a personal credit check to get started, Fundbox connects with a business's bank account. Alternatively, they can connect with the business’s approved accounting software. (Fundbox integrates with most of the popular providers.) These sources give Fundbox insight into the applicant’s business performance. With this online funding option, business owners don't need to provide any paperwork or submit to a personal credit investigation to get started. If approved, you can draw funds as soon as the next business day and repay the loan over 12 or 24 weeks.


A Recent Example

This modern approach recognizes that while a business's credit and FICO scores may be less than stellar, their business may be robust. It also addresses the often-smaller lending needs of small business owners. Accordingly, with Fundbox you can draw funds in increments as small as $100 and use the funds as you like.

Take the case of small business owner Tina Paclebar, owner of RevEx Inc., a logistics company based in Hayward, California. Tina had a small blemish on her personal credit that caused big banks to reject her applications for business funding.

''Big banks have not worked for us,'' said Tina. That's why she turned to Fundbox for help. Over time, Fundbox was able to approve her for $22,500 in credit by looking at RevEx's business fundamentals instead of Tina's personal credit. Tina has used her Fundbox Creditâ„¢ to pay for vehicles and other expenses to grow her business.


Could This Be the Solution for Your Small Business?

If you've been turned down by a bank for small business credit, don’t give up. And if you are concerned that lenders put too much weight on personal credit scores as a lending requirement, don't lose heart. Consider some of the many alternative financing options to fund your plans for growth.

Interested in Fundbox? Sign up in seconds, and get a credit decision in hours here.


About the Author

Irene Malatesta, content strategist at Fundbox, is a writer who is passionate about working with entrepreneurs and mission-driven businesses to bring their stories to life.

The post Banks vs. Alternative Lenders: Which Is Best for Small Businesses? 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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