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:

Tue, 19 Feb 2019 08:08:53 +0000
The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs
Tue, 19 Feb 2019 08:02:50 +0000 Laurie Bennett

As a student you might have an idea for a great business. But what, if anything, should you do about it?

Certainly, there are many amazing types of businesses to start. What’s more, working for yourself has heaps of awesome advantages. One of these is flexibility and being your own boss. No longer will you have to report to someone who doesn't have the same vision you have.

Starting a new business can be a bit scary for student entrepreneurs, though. That’s because in the real world, we've all heard about those businesses that were started with much enthusiasm but failed in their first year.

How Will You Earn Money While You Build Your Business Up?

Also, while your business is building up, you have to think about how you'll be earning money for your living expenses. That’s because while you're building up your client base, you might not be making much money.

Therefore, write up your business plans. Doing so will get you to think about your vision for the company you want to start. In other words, what do you want to achieve with your business?


Your written business plan doesn't have to be complicated. However, it will need to answer a few questions. For example:

  • Who will your customers be?
  • What problems do your potential customers have that your products or services will solve?
  • How much money are you likely to make each month and in the next year, or in the next five years?

Market Research Is Imperative

Decide whether you'll have a land-based business or an online business. Further, decide whether you intend to work from home or if you'll rent office or warehouse space elsewhere. Compare costs for your possible options.

New business owners sometimes price their products lower than they should. This can lead to a host of problems. You can avoid this entire quandary by doing some market research before you begin. Doing this research will help you to work out your pricing. Additionally, it will help you to assess whether, in fact, your business idea will make money in the long term.

Moreover, look to the future and do a cost analysis that includes the possibility that eventually you’ll be spending some of your business earnings on salaries. This will force you to ask such questions as, “Are five people really necessary when two people can do the job?”

Know the Difference Between Variable and Fixed Costs

Eventually you’ll need to break down your costs into variable and fixed costs. For example, expenses such as rent, electricity, business insurance, and salaries are fixed costs. These are costs you have to pay every month. On the other hand, fuel and stationery are costs that you might have some flexibility with.

All of this analysis will give you a good idea of how much capital you're going to need to launch your business. This can help you to understand whether you’ll need to apply for bank loans or other kinds of funding.

Keep Your Day Job for Now

One tip that can stand a student in good stead is to start up your business on the side while continuing in your current job. You’ll only need to do this while you get things up and running and establish some clients.

By holding onto your job awhile longer, you will spare yourself some serious stress. You’ll also give yourself the opportunity to start putting some of your business ideas into action. And even with all the teething problems that come with starting a new business, you'll still be able to cover your monthly bills.

Save a Bit Before You Take the Leap

As a student, perhaps you have a side job such as being a waiter, working in a grocery store on the weekends, or looking after people's pets when they're away. Therefore, before you take the final leap into your new business, be sure to save some money. Your nest egg can help you to ride out those lean months that every new business experiences.

Starting a new business and being an entrepreneur is not for sissies. It's a risk you're taking, albeit an exciting one. It’s true that mixing student responsibilities with a new business is daunting. Moreover, completing all your assignments on time will be time-consuming. However, you needn’t despair.

Instead, take a look at RapidEssay. This is a writing service that will ensure you get all the help you need with composing and reviewing your assignments. This can free up your time so that you can concentrate on getting your business dream up and running.

Start Your Business Now While You’re Still a Student

So don’t succumb to the belief that because you're a student you don’t have time to make your dreams come true. After all, you're young enough and adventurous enough to turn your ideas into a full-time reality.

The post How to Start a Business While You're Still a Student appeared first on Business Opportunities.

Sun, 17 Feb 2019 23:54:25 +0000 Laurie Bennett
Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels

Nine years ago, who would have thought we would come to use Instagram the way we do today?

Back then, many thought of Instagram as just another social media platform. Back then, people just used it to connect with friends, share selfies, and enlighten followers about their personal day-to-day endeavors.

Today, however, many brands, both large and small, use the platform to promote their products and services.


Instagram has become a leading social media platform. That’s because it helps brands to form more personal connections with their customers. By educating themselves about consumer behaviors, businesses can use Instagram to connect with their target audience.

In short, smart business owners connect with both potential and existing customers on Instagram. Moreover, when they understand what tone to use, what kinds of visual representations to share, when to post on Instagram, and what hashtags best represent their brand, they achieve great results.

Here are some of the reasons why you, too, should use Instagram to promote your brand.

1. Connecting with Clients

Whether you are a new business looking to get recognition or an already existing brand looking to increase sales, Instagram should be one of your go-to avenues.

Statistics show that as of June 2018, the platform had more than one billion active users every month. Moreover, it has more than half a million active users on a daily basis. Of the total active users, an average of 70% are actively looking for a brand.

This gives your brand an opportunity to interact with potential and already existing clients through the Instagram news feed, ads, and stories. Moreover, since Instagram now receives ten times more engagement than Facebook, you can use Instagram to learn how your clients think and feel about your brand.

2. Generating Sales

What’s more, Instagram does more nowadays than just generate engagement and interaction with customers. It generates sales.

You’ll need accurate and captivating scripts as well as creatively displayed images when you use this platform. However, by using those scripts and images, you can run a promotional ad or lead generation campaign that targets a specific audience. This is sure to drive traffic to your website, leading to an increase in sales.

3. Tapping into New Markets

With hashtags, Instagram makes it easy for your business to reach new audiences and like-minded parties. A well-chosen hashtag will allow you to track people who are sharing content using that same hashtag. This gives you a ready-made audience of people who have similar interests. From there, you can create ads that are targeted to that specific audience.

In short, hashtags give you one of the best ways to find potential customers or clients not only in your own locale, but also worldwide. Therefore, they are a cost-effective avenue for growing your business.

4. Staying Informed About Consumer Trends

When you’re running a business and building a brand, one of the most important things to learn is that consumer behaviors change rapidly. Moreover, consumers are highly influenced by day-to-day trends.

With Instagram, however, you can easily track your customers’ trends. What’s more, you can get to know their preferences as well as what influences their purchasing decisions. Learn what sparks their interest and what they are most responsive to.

When you know the current trends, you can adjust your day-to-day marketing strategy. Additionally, you can change the content you share on the platform to reflect the trends of the day.

5. Keeping Track of Competitors

To stay on top of the marketing and advertising game, you need a daily update on your competitors.

That’s why it’s good to know that when brands are running campaigns on Instagram, they generally use hashtags. This provides them with a sense of trend ownership and identity. As a matter of fact, seven out of ten hashtags trending on Instagram are brand hashtags.

By watching a competitor’s hashtag, you can track what your competitor is doing. Moreover, you’ll even be able to see how well their strategy is working. This can be helpful during your own decision-making process.

You’ll also be able to track what a competitor's audience is saying about the brand. Their sentiments can guide you to create a better selling and advertising angle with your targeted ads to the same audience. 

Use Instagram to Reach Your Target Audience

If you’re looking for an effective way to reach your target audience, you won’t go wrong if you use Instagram.

The post 5 Reasons You Should Use Instagram to Promote Your Brand appeared first on Business Opportunities.

Sun, 17 Feb 2019 23:35:25 +0000 Laurie Bennett
Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

There comes a time in every business owner's life when it's time to think outside the box. A personalized t-shirt can be one way of coming up with something new. Here are several reasons why you want to have a personalized t-shirt for your business.


1. You Can Share Ideas

The sharing of ideas is the currency of the 21st century, period. We, as people, love to exchange ideas with each other, whether they're our own or somebody else's.

What’s more, any product that can be personalized can be fitted with an idea. This makes for a marvelous time for the creative use of your ideas. To that end, use a personalized t-shirt to promote that idea.

There is an unending stream of stencils, printing areas, and colors that you can use. In other words, you can make each printed t-shirt wholly unique.

2. Display Your Core Message and Mission

If you're in the business of social justice and conscious change in your community, then you definitely have a mission behind the founding of your company. Businesses that make a practice of participating in awareness raising in their community will love personalized t-shirts.

For example, does your company participate in marathons, telethons or sponsorships? If so, a personalized t-shirt is a must for your company.

You can design custom t-shirts however you want. Then you can use them to declare your support for an important cause.

3. A Personalized T-Shirt Won't Cost Much

Can you think of a relatively low-cost way of informing people about your business? Marketing campaigns, when executed improperly, can end up costing you a lot of money. However, a personalized t-shirt will be less expensive than other options of localized marketing and advertising.

4. Use Them to Promote Your Brand

Customizing your t-shirts is a great way to promote your business. Moreover, doing so will build the awareness of your brand in people's minds.

To build awareness around your brand means displaying the meaning behind your logo, your slogan, and so on. Your brand gives you an opportunity to show and tell people what your business is all about.

Here are a few reasons why boosting your brand will increase your bottom line:

  • Lowers the cost of acquiring customers
  • Increases current customers’ loyalty
  • Re-captures leads you might have thought were lost

5. Market Your Personalized T-Shirt Online

Celebrities, even YouTubers, are coming out with clothing lines of their own these days. Even a lot of brands that don't have anything remotely relatable to fashion come out with their own clothing lines.

One big reason is that clothing lines are an effective marketing tool. With a personalized t-shirt, you can market your brand to more people.

6. Customize a Personalized T-Shirt for Valued Customers

Here’s an idea: Customize a personalized t-shirt for your valued customers. This will make them feel special, which in turn will inspire them to continue doing business with you.

You could also hold monthly competitions for your customers to send in designs for t-shirts. Whoever sends in the best design, as chosen by your staff, wins a prize.

7. Boost Team Morale

You know that when a team works together to get things done, a business runs smoothly. This is why team-building exercises are such a big hit. Bonding experiences, which give us a chance to know each other on a deeper level, strengthen relationships.

There is no denying that the ''awesome factor'' helps bring people together. The importance of morale in the workplace cannot be understated.


These are just a few of the benefits that come from designing and ordering a personalized t-shirt. As always, you will never know what happens until you take action. Never forget to look for interesting ways to engage with your customer base. And remember that stylish fashion will always be one way to do so.

The post 7 Reasons Why a Personalized T-Shirt Is Good for Your Business 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 - 2009-02-13 - 03:55:45 - TWikiContributor
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