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:

Wed, 13 Nov 2019 00:41:54 +0000
The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs
Wed, 13 Nov 2019 00:41:53 +0000 Carrol Strain
Photo by Julius Drost on Unsplash

Are you ready for a company make-over? Let a digital transformation bring in new technology and change the way your company operates. At its best, a digital transformation focuses on the customer’s experience as well as your company's overall organization.

Digital Transformation: What's in It for Your Business?

Many businesses are reluctant to change and wary of disruption. However, technology is advancing, and so are your customers’ demands. It’s inevitable. Your company will eventually need a full upgrade.

The solution? Get ahead of the curve with a digital transformation, a company make-over. This is the process of bringing in new technology to change the way your company operates. At its best, a digital transformation focuses on the customer’s experience as well as your company's overall organization.

If you’re excited by the idea of change within your business, here are five ways digital transformation can benefit your company. All of these are worth sharing with your team, even those team members who are afraid of change.


1. Live up to Customers Expectations

Today’s customers expect every piece of content to be immediately accessible. Accessibility means information that is in the format and for the device of their choosing. Meeting their standards should be the focus of your strategy for the digital transformation of your company.

Every customer wants quick, easy, and efficient results. However, with such a broad range of content available to them in any sector, the customer’s digital behavior is ever-changing.

To stay relevant, companies need to partner up with specialist websites like icreon.com. These agencies help businesses to invest in the right technology so as to satisfy their customers. Once engaged, these customers need to be getting seamless and consistent service. This is critically important for the success of your company’s digital transformation.

However, specialists can make the transition seamless. Moreover, they will keep the customer who's already connected well-positioned on his or her journey.

2. Secure Your Position with a Mobile App

Competition between mobile phone apps is fierce. Therefore, your company's digital transformation should have a customer app at the forefront.

The necessity for mobile apps is readily evident. Consider how often a customer uses their phone versus a computer. What’s more, with so many mobile users, there’s a potentially limitless market of untapped consumers.

An easy-to-use app will allow customers to interact with your company's business services on a daily basis. With mobile solutions, you’ll show your target audience and your competitors just how adaptable you can be.

What's more, if your company is launching a social media channel, make sure you’re giving customers the chance to access you all day every day. Do this with mobile-friendly contact forms on your site. This shows customers how serious you are about your business relationship with them, and it should definitely play a role in your company's digital transformation.

3. Make Data Protection a Big Part of Your Company's Digital Transformation

General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, has seen millions of companies embracing radical changes, all with the aim of protecting customer information. GDPR gives you an optimal opportunity to accelerate your company's digital transformation.

Customers were once less informed when it came to storing their personal information. However, this has all changed. Today, customers expect data protection and privacy guarantees. If this is breached, the trust between you and your customers will disappear. As a result, you will lose many loyal customers.

One popular data protection strategy is to outsource this aspect of your company’s business to an IT cybersecurity specialist. Then, you can work with your IT provider to ensure security measures are in place, to protect both your business and your customers from hacker and malware activity.

4. Accept Automation and Fully Embrace Your Company's Digital Transformation

We all know the value of putting a personal touch on every customer interaction. But don’t let this hold you back from fully embracing your company's digital transformation.

For example, a well-run email marketing and CRM system can reach a wider audience than time-consuming personal messages can. Plus, it saves both time and money. Additionally, it allows customers to participate quickly, and it meets their needs.

But test automation on smaller projects to start. Once you gain traction and better response, you can include larger projects.

5. You Can Still Add a Personal Touch

Today’s customers know their personal data is being collected. However, if their data is being used positively, they feel valued. This is the whole point of a digital transformation.

What’s more, even when you incorporate automation, you can still take a tailor-made approach with each customer. Just be sure to include your current customers as well as your prospects.

You’ll count the payoffs of your extra efforts as worthwhile when your company’s digital transformation encourages your customers to convert-and then stay engaged.

At that point, you will count your company’s make-over, its digital transformation, as a complete success.

The post Digital Transformation: A Company Make-Over appeared first on Business Opportunities.

Tue, 12 Nov 2019 21:50:50 +0000 Mel Martinez

Holding business lunches is essential for meeting new clients and networking. Lunch meetings allow you to meet potential clients with added intimacy. Gatherings among influencers in your industry can help you devise new strategies that will elevate your business to greater heights. Utilizing a meeting over lunch allows for generative dialogue and shared fun which enhances creative energy.

Expense is always an issue when hosting a business lunch. It is only sensible to claim back the amount you spend on food if you are self-employed. Employees of all kinds should be informed about Claiming Business lunches to learn about best practices. Still, whether or not to claim an expense impacts year-end tax deductions for employees and businesses. Consultation about appropriate expense claims may be necessary. Companies like Fusion Chartered Accountants provide access to SME focused accountants offering the right advice on this matter. 


Once you have determined the appropriate expense practices, you will be prepared to host a meal with clients and stakeholders. Of utmost importance when holding this type of meeting is your company’s image. You must ensure that everything you do and present is in line with your company’s image. The following are tips for a successful business lunch.

Business Lunch Attire

How you dress for any kind of meeting communicates a lot about your company. Relaxed attire signals a relaxed work environment. Business formal attire communicates that working with you means working with a professional. Chances are you are aware you are attending a business lunch, so you will probably don the right attire. However, if you are uncertain, the purpose of the meeting can provide insight on the attire that is expected. What you wear has an impact on the success of selling your products or services, as well as your company values.

Business Lunch - man and woman in professional attire. 300w, man-and-woman-smiling-inside-building-1367269-768x436.jpg 768w, man-and-woman-smiling-inside-building-1367269-696x395.jpg 696w, man-and-woman-smiling-inside-building-1367269-1068x606.jpg 1068w, man-and-woman-smiling-inside-building-1367269-740x420.jpg 740w, man-and-woman-smiling-inside-building-1367269.jpg 1189w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" />
Photo by Rebrand Cities from Pexels

Be Prepared

Preparation is vital to ensuring your business lunch is successful. This is especially true if you are hosting the lunch. Familiarize yourself with the venue and their menu in advance. Doing so will guarantee your ability to answer questions among your attendees and placing your order expediently. 

Be prepared for the kind of discussion you want to have during lunch. Because a business lunch is time-limited, it is important to utilize your time well. Having an agenda or list of issues you hope to discuss will keep you on track.

Stay Self-Aware

You should be in control of your emotional presence when engaging in the discussion over lunch. Though some companies allow the consumption of alcohol at a business lunch, it may be best to avoid it. Alcohol can impair your speech and lower your self-awareness. Countless mistakes can be made when you are not in full control of your thoughts and actions. Also, the people you are meeting may have different views about alcohol, and your use of alcohol during a business meeting may negatively influence them about you or your company. 

Business Lunch Manners & Etiquette

How you order your meal at a business lunch can also impact the image your guests have of you and your company. Treat waitstaff politely, speak clearly, and be patient. Consider allowing your guests to place their order first. If you are not ordering the same meal as them, then look for something that is of comparable size to what they have ordered. Choose a less expensive meal if you are not the one paying the bill.

Proper eating etiquette is also essential during such meetings. You should display high levels of hygiene when having your meals. Eat at a reasonable pace so as to not risk making a mess. Order meals that are easy to consume and allow you to avoid spills and drops on your clothing. 

When you follow these tips, you are sure to have a successful business lunch.

The post Business Lunch Meeting Tips for Success appeared first on Business Opportunities.

Tue, 12 Nov 2019 19:35:11 +0000 Carrol Strain
Featured image from Campaign Creators on Upsplash

The invention of fast Internet connectivity and robust online tools has resulted in a new commerce arena: eCommerce.

eCommerce is such a powerful tool that growing your business worldwide is no longer a dream in today's world. For example, using eCommerce, companies can expand their business to national and international markets with minimum capital investment. Almost instantly, they can easily locate more customers, suitable business partners, and best suppliers across the globe.


In short, eCommerce offers many advantages to businesses and customers, but it has also caused several issues. In this article we take a look at the world of eCommerce and learn about its pros and cons.

Advantages of eCommerce

300w, ecommerce-2ab-768x435.png 768w, ecommerce-2ab-696x394.png 696w, ecommerce-2ab-1068x605.png 1068w, ecommerce-2ab-741x420.png 741w, ecommerce-2ab.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" />
Image from Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

#1: eCommerce Offers a Faster Buying and Selling Procedure

eCommerce lets you reach customers all across the globe. Moreover, your customers can make a purchase anytime and anywhere, especially since more people are now getting used to online shopping using their smartphones. However, it's important to stay up-to-date on the latest sales trends before starting an online business because that's what makes you go global via implementing strategic decisions.

eCommerce offers a faster buying and selling process. For instance, sometimes a customer may not find a certain product in a traditional store, whereas you can buy pretty much everything online. It's just a matter of a few clicks.

Additionally, as an eCommerce business owner, you can sell a variety of products, and people will buy from you so long as your services are topnotch.

#2: You Can Retarget Customers Easily

Retargeting is a cookie-based technology that allows you to follow your audience across the web anonymously. You can learn what they are searching for, what they are engaging and/or interacting with, what issues they are seeking solutions for, and so on.

Retargeting can help you boost customer loyalty, and therefore, your customer retention rate. Your loyal customers are people who've already visited your store previously and converted. Because they are familiar with your business and have shown interest in your product or service, they are more likely to convert again.

Some of the easiest ways to retarget a customer are:

#3: Automation in eCommerce Saves Time

eCommerce automation is software built and designed to automate your tasks or campaigns within your business. The software then executes intelligently as needed. It also enables creativity and experimentation without the usual time investment.

For example, in any business, there are hundreds of small tasks that take several minutes to execute. Individually, they might not appear to be huge time-wasters. Together, however, it's a different case. They devour both productivity and stunt growth. eCommerce automation simplifies those tasks, drives efficiency, and lets you experiment.

For instance, you can schedule sales for predetermined periods. Also, you can tag high-value clients and notify consumer service to send personalized welcome texts.

#4: You Save Money on Overhead

Your eCommerce business will save money on rent, maintenance, utilities, and other expenses associated with physical stores.

Plus, your online store can remain open 24/7 without having to hire employees to watch over the shop and protect items. Also, since you are not confined to a set amount of shelf space, there's no limit to the number of products you can sell online. Therefore, your eCommerce store’s stock can expand rapidly. 

Keep in mind, though, that shopping these days can be done anywhere. Therefore, with more and more customers using their phones to shop online, it's crucial that your eCommerce store offers a variety of mobile payment solutions.

#5: It's Easy to Start and Manage Your eCommerce Business

Starting an eCommerce business is pretty straightforward:

  • Register your business
  • Choose your store's name
  • Get your business licenses
  • Collect your employer identification number (EIN)
  • Find the right vendors, and
  • Create a website

Once you've successfully created a website, the next step is to optimize your store for SEO. You can hire an SEO expert to fully optimize your eCommerce site. For example, you can create personalized landing pages for different customers. This can help to entice them to make a purchase without any hassle on your side.

If you don't want to start from scratch, don't worry. You can simply buy an online business. With a government small business loan, you can buy an existing eCommerce business. There are several different types of loans you can take. Just make sure the business you are buying fits your requirements.

Disadvantages of an eCommerce Business

300w, ecommerce-3ab-768x433.png 768w, ecommerce-3ab-696x393.png 696w, ecommerce-3ab-1068x603.png 1068w, ecommerce-3ab-744x420.png 744w, ecommerce-3ab.png 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" />
Image from Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

#1: It's Highly Competitive

Every step in eCommerce is highly competitive. This is because the online market is growing exponentially. You need to up your game and continue to implement new strategies to stay relevant in the market.

For example, pretty much every eCommerce business owner knows how to play with keywords to stay on top of Google's search results. So if you're not familiar with content marketing and using keywords, you might get in trouble.

#2: Try Before You Buy? Not a Chance

Since you're shopping online, there's no way you can try the product before deciding whether or not to purchase it. This could be a deal-breaker for many customers.

Online shoppers can't inspect items physically, and in most cases, there's little to no room for price negotiation. And then there are security issues.

Every eCommerce store has security issues, be it a small or large business. eCommerce websites record important information about all the customers. For example, they keep electronic records of customers’ names, contact numbers, bank details, and so on. If not kept secure, this information could be leaked, harming both the client and your brand’s reputation.

Wrapping Up

As you've studied our list of benefits and drawbacks of eCommerce, we believe you'll be able to decide for yourself whether or not you should start an online business.

Buy or sell, trade, or barter-there is no limit to what you can do when it comes to eCommerce. It is not just a trend; it's the future. As a customer, you get to choose whatever you want, in whichever color, shape, and size you like. As a business, you can target a global audience and let your customers review your service honestly.

Traditional retail won't perish anytime soon. It has its charms, purpose, and advantages. At the end of the day, it all comes down to your preferred business model.

The post eCommerce Advantages and Disadvantages 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:Sorted ascending Description:
    data/TWiki/HeadlinesPlugin.txt plugin topic
    lib/TWiki/HeadlinesPlugin.pm plugin perl module
    lib/TWiki/HeadlinesPlugin/Core.pm plugin core
    pub/TWiki/HeadlinesPlugin/style.css default css
    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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