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

%HEADLINES{"http://slashdot.org/slashdot.rdf" header="---+!! [[$link][$title]]$n $description" format="$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, 18 Jun 2018 09:03:30 +0000
The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs
Mon, 18 Jun 2018 08:52:59 +0000 Bizop Team
Image Credit: Luis Osorio on Flickr

When you first start to grapple with it, search engine optimization (SEO) seems like the most difficult thing in the internet marketing sphere. However, once you understand how it works, it's one of the easiest solutions for marketing your business. What’s more, if you want to succeed in business these days, you need to master an SEO marketing strategy that will get your business the traffic it needs.

Whether you are just starting out with your SEO setup or you have been struggling with it for a while, here are five steps anyone can take to achieve a superior SEO marketing strategy.




Understand Your Target Audience

It can be challenging to formulate anyámarketing strategy if you don't understand who you are targeting. Therefore, when you’re coming up with an SEO marketing strategy, you must factor in the behavior and location of your audience.

Learn about your customers’ demographics, their search preferences, and so on. Your Google Analytics account will help you to interpret the responses of visitors to your site. You can then set objectives using your understanding of this data.


Perform Keyword Research

Keyword research is extremely important when you’re establishing your SEO marketing strategy.

Analyze your target audience to determine which keywords they are likely to use while searching for your business online. Then use an excel sheet to organize keywords into categories based on the personas in your target audience.

The Google Keyword Planner is a great resource for researching keywords. It shows the competitiveness of various keywords as well as their search volume. This will help you to understand which keywords are viable.

Other advanced tools will provide you with information about your competitors and their backlinks. For example,áthis list of the best backlink checkers from SEOJet will give you suggestions for excellent research tools. Use tools like these to come up with strong keywords.


Plan Your on-Page SEO/Site Structure

The next thing you need to consider is on-page SEO. This important component helps search engines to understand what your website is about. Valuable, well written content is key here.

Use the keywords you collected to build your content.áAdditionally, be sure to include internal linking and ensure your pages load quickly.

Set different keywords for different pages to avoid keyword cannibalization. This occurs when you use the same keyword on different pages.



Develop Your off-Page SEO Link Building

You also need to seek referrals and mentions by other sites in your niche, especially authority sites with good reputations. This is what is meant by “off-site SEO.”

There are different tactics you can use to get sites to link back to yours. For example, you can make connections in your industry. If people know about you, they are more likely to link back to you.áAlso, write great content that will encourage people to share.

Another great tactic is to reach out to owners of authority websites in your industry and offer to write blog posts for them as a guest.


Track Results with Hard Data

SEO does not end with posting content and getting links. You also need to ensure that your content is working as you expected.

This is where performance monitoring comes in. In your Google Analytics account, monitor traffic daily, weekly, and monthly. Keep a spreadsheet where you record on-page changes. This will help you to understand what is happening. You can also use rank checking services to check search positions.


A Good SEO Marketing Strategy Requires Persistence and Patience

Although it can take some time before results begin to appear, having a robust SEO marketing strategy will elevate your business’s search visibility.

What’s more, with good SEO your website will get more traffic, which will lead to more sales. The tactics we suggest here will help you to get started with SEO. Put them to work and you will soon have an SEO marketing strategy that will open doors for your business.

The post 5 Steps to Having the Best SEO Marketing Strategy for Your Business appeared first on Business Opportunities.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 07:49:51 +0000 Bizop Team

As the sun starts to shine, many employees start thinking about a summer break. But for business owners, staff time off during the summer can be fraught with difficulty.

That’s because summer can be a busy and profitable time for many businesses. However, it's also the time most staff want to take a sizable chunk of their annual leave allowance.

Banning or restricting leave at busy times is legally possible. However, that will do little to nurture a positive culture. More likely it will lead to disgruntled staff. Some good employees might even decide to leave. But letting too many employees take holidays at the same time will almost certainly leave your business flagging.

This could mean delays in meeting customer orders and less efficient customer service. Moreover, disgruntled staff will have to work harder and longer hours to take up the slack.

Therefore, managing staff time off during the summer holiday season needs to be fair. Here are our five top tips for fair and efficient holiday management. Implement these tips to keep your staff happy and your business on track.




1. Develop a Clear and Fair Annual Leave Policy

Annual leave during the summer, especially during the school holidays, can be a contentious issue. This can be especially true if you have several staff with school-aged children. In that case, they might all be jockeying for the same few weeks off.

How you manage staff time off will depend on your business. If summer is your busiest time, you will have to factor that in to your annual leave policy.

Conversely, is your business is able to operate with minimum staff during the summer holiday season? If so, use that to your advantage. As a matter of fact, some manufacturing industries shut down for two weeks in summer.

Some Questions to Consider About Staff Time Off

You will need to consider the following questions:

  • Do you prioritize leave requests for those with children who need to take their leave during the school holidays?
  • Should you adopt a first-come, first-served annual leave policy?
  • Do you prioritize leave for special events?
  • Will you enforce any restrictions on staff time off at your busiest times?

Prioritizing one group of staff over another group isn't generally conducive to good employee relations. A first-come, first-served policy is probably the fairest option. However, that option works in favor of those who are more organized.

No Right or Wrong Answer

There isn't a right or wrong answer to any of these questions. The fact remains, however, that not everyone can have their leave request approved for exactly the same weeks of holiday.

How you handle holiday requests will depend on the size of your business. A small business with just a few staff can't afford to have more than one or two people off at the same time. Bigger businesses can be more flexible.

Developing a rotation system for key holiday periods, like school holidays, is probably the fairest option. ACAS (the UK Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) offers good guidance on managing staff time off, including rights and responsibilities.


2. Plan Ahead with Staff Rotation Software

Understanding your staffing requirements and planning ahead are key. The best way to ensure you have your finger on the pulse when it comes to annual leave and staff cover is to invest in decent staff rotation software.

Good staff rotation software (such as Planday) will enable you to manage rotations and deal with leave requests much more efficiently. You can also set a limit on the number of staff who can be off at the same time. Choose software that has an app so staff can see their schedule at any time, check leave availability, and make leave requests.



3. Learn from the Past and Forecast

If last summer was your busiest time, then you know to plan ahead. You may have to limit leave requests. You might also need to offer flexible working arrangements to those with childcare issues. Perhaps you’ll even employ temporary staff to get you through the holiday season. Learn from the past and forecast so you don't make any of the mistakes you made in previous summers.


4. Maintain Good Communication

Whatever your approach to staff time off during the summer months, good communication and transparency are paramount. Staff rotation software can help. If all staff have access to a digital holiday calendar, they can plan accordingly. When summer holiday leave booking is problematic, get your team to sit down and discuss the options.


staff time off 300w, managing-staff-summer-holiday-2-768x502.jpg 768w, managing-staff-summer-holiday-2-600x392.jpg 600w" sizes="(max-width: 1000px) 100vw, 1000px" />


Involving your staff in the decision-making process will make them feel like they have a say in the solutions. Be prepared to think of alternative solutions. For example, if one member of staff gets priority on leave booking, make it clear that someone else gets priority next time.


5. Be Flexible About Cover

Consider hiring in temporary staff during your busiest times. This will ensure you have full cover when some employees are away on holiday. You may also want to consider offering more flexible working arrangements to anyone who has drawn the short straw and has to cover.



Plan, be clear on your annual leave policy, communicate, offer transparency, and be flexible. When you do, you willáavoid the pitfalls of efficiently and fairly managing staff time off during the summer holiday season.

The post Managing Staff Time off During the Summer Holiday Season appeared first on Business Opportunities.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 07:49:41 +0000 Bizop Team

If you run a small business you need to start treating cyber security as a serious issue. On one hand you have increasingly sophisticated criminal hackers. On the other there are tighter laws and industry standards regarding the need to protect data. Therefore, putting more investment into your defenses is doubly important for you. Here are five tips that almost every small business should practice to improve its cyber security.




1. Assess Your Security on a Regular Basis

Regularly assess and test your company’s IT infrastructure. Ensure that it is as free from security vulnerabilities as possible. Perhaps you are worried that you could have some weaknesses. Or maybe you believe that your system is as strong as it can be. Either way, have an outside agency attempt to breach your defenses in a test scenario. This can provide a great deal of highly useful information.

This method of testing is called penetration testing. In simple terms, cyber security professionals attempt to gain access to your computer systems. They use the same techniques that hackers and cyber criminals might use. This is one of the most effective ways to identify vulnerabilities. Moreover, it will test your company’s infrastructure and networks as well as its applications. In short,ápenetration testers detect weaknesses and vulnerabilities that real-life malicious hackers could exploit.

However, having one penetration test and fixing the flaws in the system does not mean you are then protected indefinitely. Cyber tactics and procedures advance quickly. The emergence of new flaws means that it’s important to perform assessments regularly.


cyber security 300w, tips-better-cyber-security-2-768x512.jpg 768w, tips-better-cyber-security-2-600x400.jpg 600w" sizes="(max-width: 1000px) 100vw, 1000px" />


2. Keep Systems Updated and Patched

One of the key mistakes that many businesses make is that they do not keep computers, laptops and mobile devices up to date. To put it bluntly, update everything as soon as possible to the latest available versions. This includesáoperating systems, antivirus software, applications, and web browsers. Often manufacturers release updates in order to deal with known security issues.

Make sure that you and your employees know to check for new versions of software. Train your staff to update as soon as new versions become available. Doing so can prevent you from being at risk from common attacks.


3. Back up Important Data

It is good practice to get into the habit of keeping an offsite backup. Include all the information stored on your business's network in this backup.

Imagine a scenario in which you have lost important information. Or that you have suffered a data breach and thieves have stolen private data. With an offsite backup you would be able to restore any compromised data. This would help to quickly overcome the incident and reduce operational disruption.

This is where it can be useful to invest in cloud technology. Cloud technology can ensure that you have a copy of your data both on your own physical servers as well as elsewhere in the cloud.


4. Control and Manage Network Access

One common problem that small businesses face is that they don't plan for keeping their system secure. In short, it is often the case that they are simply too trusting. No employer likes to think that they cannot trust their staff. However, it is unfortunately the case that data theft by employees is a growing problem.

It is important, then, to ensure you are putting the right safety measures in place. Employees need to have their own accounts. Further, each account must have access permissions that are determined by the requirements of employees’ respective roles.



5. Educate and Train Employees

What’s more, you need to ensure that you are providing your team with cyber security awareness training. Well-trained staff are one of the most important lines of defense against phishing attacks and other types of social engineering. Advise employees about the latest security protocols. Further, train them in some of the simple things, such as choosing a strong password.


Better Cyber Security Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult

The measures we have offered here might seem simple. However, they can make a huge difference to your business's overall resistance to cyber attacks.

The post Smart Tips for Better Small Business Cyber Security 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 Accueil.Site Preferences. For example, to customize the USERAGENTNAME setting, create a HEADLINESPLUGIN_USERAGENTNAME setting in Accueil.SitePreferences.

  • One line description, shown in the Text Formatting Rules topic:
    • Set SHORTDESCRIPTION = Show headline news in Foswiki 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 Foswiki's internal getUrl() method. Default: yes

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

  • Name of user agent. Default: FoswikiHeadlinesPlugin/2.21.2
      * Set USERAGENTNAME = FoswikiHeadlinesPlugin/2.21.2

  • 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)
    • $Foswiki::cfg{PROXY}{HOST} - proxy host, such as "proxy.example.com";
    • $Foswiki::cfg{PROXY}{PORT} - proxy port, such as "8080";
    • $Foswiki::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 Headlines Plugin (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

You do not need to install anything in the browser to use this extension. The following instructions are for the administrator who installs the extension on the server.

Open configure, and open the "Extensions" section. Use "Find More Extensions" to get a list of available extensions. Select "Install".

If you have any problems, or if the extension isn't available in configure, then you can still install manually from the command-line. See http://foswiki.org/Support/ManuallyInstallingExtensions for more help.

Check if above examples show a news feed instead of variable.

Plugin Info

Plugin Author: TWiki:Main.PeterThoeny, Foswiki:Main.MichaelDaum (2005-2007)
Copyright: © 2002-2009, Peter Thoeny, TWIKI.NET; 2005-2007, Michael Daum http://wikiring.de
License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
Release: 2.21.2
Version: 6822 (2010-03-21)
Change History:  
08 Mar 2009: Ported without changes to Foswiki namespace by Kenneth Lavrsen and put under "Feel Free To Modify" in Foswiki context.
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: 5.008
Home: Foswiki:Extensions/HeadlinesPlugin
Support: Foswiki:Support/HeadlinesPlugin
Topic revision: r1 - 13 Feb 2009, ProjectContributor
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