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, 23 Feb 2017 02:01:23 +0000
The original blog about business opportunities and business ideas for small business entrepreneurs
Wed, 22 Feb 2017 05:12:43 +0000 Bizop Team

Anik Singal and Micro-moment Marketing

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It's no news that consumers prefer digital media over traditional media in exploring and making decisions every day. For this reason, marketers devote billions of dollars to make sure their ad messages get to their target customers. Among the different types of digital media, mobile has continued to lead in a race for the consumers' soul. What makes mobile so attractive is its relationship with the Internet. So once again, the leadership role of mobile in digital consumer marketing is in the news.

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It was in 2013 when an Internet Trends Report revealed that Internet users interacted with their phones about 150 times daily. This interaction involves messaging, gaming, searching, music, and everything else a phone is capable of providing. The most common form of interaction was messaging, which consists of SMS and email. Interestingly, the report uncovers the business model of marketing and advertising guru Anik Singal. For Anik, ''Email is a choice marketing method for entrepreneurs with little start up capital. It allows you to target individual customers and track their purchases at low cost and on a global scale.''


There is reason to suggest that marking via email has the potential to return profit to marketers when you carefully consider the micro-marketing moments of the Google content marketing team.

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Explaining Micro-moment Marketing

The marketing paradigm of micro-moments is simple. The Google content marketing team defines it as ''critical touch points within today's consumer journey, when added together, they ultimately determine how that journey ends.'' The team identified four critical moments in the journey of consumers in making sense of a myriad of information on digital media.

The preferred device choice for looking at digital messages is the smartphone. Every minute consumers are turning to their smartphones to make searches and buying decisions. Google advises that marketers ought to be there at every stage of the consumer journey if they want to succeed. The moments are shown in percentage, representing consumers who are caught in each step of the journey. Here is a list of the micro-moments.


  • I-Want-to-Know Moments (66%)
  • I-Want-to-Go Moments
  • I-Want-to-Do Moments (70%)
  • I-Want-to-Buy Moments (82%)

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For example, imagine you see an ad on TV about where to buy a DIY shoe rack, but because the ad is fleeting, you turn to your smartphone to get better information. (This is the I-Want-to-Know Moment) During your search, you discover there are many stores offering this item for sale, but you are wondering if a local store sells it. So, you search for a local business nearby. (This is the I-Want-to-Go Moment)  Considering that the item needs to be assembled, you once again turn to your smartphone for a video of how to do (This is the I-Want-to-Do-Moment). Eventually, you are at the local store and you need help making a final decision, and again you resort to your smartphone (This is the I-Want-to-Buy Moment).


To read the micro-moments marketing report, click ''Micro-Moments: Your Guide to Winning the Shift to Mobile''.


Seizing the Micro-moments Opportunity

Marketers could make gains by looking at the best ways to win in the battleground of micro-moments marketing. Four strategies have been summed up by the Google team; we will see how they apply to email.

  • Be there. The team advises marketers to anticipate the next thing consumers will be searching for and make sure they are there to help. For instance, if a consumer had just seen an ad about property insurance and stumbled on your site for better knowledge, how would your email marketing integrate with the overall experience the consumer would have? Being there means you should have valuable information about property insurance on your site. Then the next question is what incentives would you use to acquire the consumer's email address? And once you have gained the consumer's email address, how would you anticipate what he might need next? Consider pitching. Pitching has to do with sending relevant offers to the customer when you have considered his buying behavior. Pitching could be done right by studying the next phase of property insurance and sending an email message to the customer before your competitor does.
  • Be useful. Being relevant means you have to know you audience just as they know the product you are offering. And for email, instead of sending general newsletters or marketing messages to all the customers in your list, you could consider segmentation. Segmentation has to do with sending targeted messages to classified audiences. To segment, you could use Google Analytics to identify open rate, click through rate (CTR), and unsubscribes of previous ad messages you had sent. When you have sorted these, you will pay more attention to sending what is relevant to each segment.
  • Be quick. This means you should not have an email message that rambles before exposing its true intent. Be concise and have a call to action that demands immediacy. The reason behind this is that consumers using mobile devices make lightning decisions and would rather not waste time reading through an email that is wordy when there are other competing Internet uses like gaming and social media.


Bottom line: Start ups businesses could benefit from the potential of messaging to reach target consumers individually and globally. In addition, understanding the fleeting moments of consumer behavior should help businesses create an email marketing campaign with micro-moments in mind; to capture the sale at just the right time.

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 23:05:53 +0000 Bizop Team

What Does it Take to Start a Lawn Care Business?

In almost every business niche there is fierce competition and that is certainly true for the lawn care industry as well. But where there is a will there is a way. What it takes to be successful in today’s business environment (in any industry) is to be willing to go above and beyond the competition in terms of both service and quality.

In the U.S., just about everyone who can afford a lawn care service has one. While some people do enjoy caring for their own lawns, most do not or they simply do not have the time to do it. In the UK however, things are different. Most people do not understand the lawn care sector yet and still clip their own grass.

Things are beginning to change. Craig Daniel of Acer Lawncare tells us that in some of the UK’s wealthier areas like Manchester and Warrington, lawn care companies are springing up out quickly. With that, he says, “the competition is becoming quite stiff rather quickly.”


If you are thinking of starting your own lawn care business, it is important to know that most consumers expect it to be an expensive service. This is both good and bad. Good if someone is ready to hire you and knows the service will cost a little. Bad if they are not hiring a service because they feel it will be too expensive for them to even check out.


How Much should you charge?

There are a few things to consider when you are setting your pricing.

You will want to focus on having a large amount of customers within a small travel area. If you try to take accounts all over the place, you will spend a lot more on gas and wasted travel time and hence your business will be less profitable. So the first key to success is having a concentration of customers in a small area. When you are staring out make sure you spend your down time marketing your business in a small radius you would like to work in. Have flyers made, door hangers, business cards and so on and canvas an area.

If someone across town wants to hire you that could be good too. Just make sure you are charging enough to make up for the time travel to that area.

If you  have employees, trucks, gas, insurance and so on, make sure you figure all those expenses into your quotes and make sure you are giving yourself an adequate profit margin.


How many customers do you need to make a profit?

That all depends upon how big you want your business to be. Do you want to keep it small, be home based, do the work yourself and have one truck? Or, is your vision to have 20 trucks, 40 employees and several cities you work in? As a part of your early business planning, make sure you think abou that. That way, each decision you make will further you toward your end goal.


In either scenario, figure out what your total overhead will be. Then figure out how much money you want to make per month. Add the two numbers together, divide it by the number of accounts you believe you can handle, and that will tell you where your pricing needs to be. Of course that is a very over-simplified model but it is a good way do a quick and dirty business plan to see if your concept works for you. If the pricing is too low, is there some other service you can offer to set yourself apart from the competition? Can you offer fertilizing, tree trimming, pet clean up or total organic products? Be creative and unique and your customers will see why you charge a bit more.


How do you get your business off the ground?

We chatted with Craig Daniel of Acer Lawn Care, about how he managed to get his lawn care business off the ground. He told us, ''Starting this lawn care business from scratch was very difficult to be honest. Before I began I researched my local area to ensure there were enough potential customers to satisfy my business goals and I also analyzed the competition. My initial outlay was quite heavy as I needed to buy a van, create marketing paraphernalia, build a website, embroider uniforms and do an endless amount of canvassing.”

Mr. Daniel went on to say that it was a lot of work for one person to do so you should know that going in. We followed up by asking him if he felt starting a new business was worth it. He replied ''Without a doubt it has been very challenging, much more than I anticipated. I probably would think twice about it nowadays. However, he assured us that if a person has enough grit and determination, they can break through the difficulties and create a very successful business that will repay them over time.''


Most business owners agree that starting a new business in any field can be an extremely difficult accomplishment. It almost always takes more time, money and effort than anyone ever imagines it will. However, if you have a great passion and drive for your business, and are willing to work at it 110% until you get it off the ground, it will all be worth it in the end.

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 04:39:50 +0000 Bizop Team

Don't Give Up On Past Customers, Re-Engage Them With These Tips

Source: Marketing Land www.marketingland.com

Writer: Joanna Lord

Let's face the facts: customer lifecycle marketing is hard. Traditionally, the acquisition stage of the customer funnel kept marketers busy, but it appears the tides are turning - the majority of marketers interviewed in a recent 2014 State of Marketing survey said retention and re-engagement are now a key focus. Here Are a few great tips to re-engage your customers.

Customer engagement
So, how can we re-engage our past customers? There are a number of authentic and mutually beneficial ways to reach out and reconnect with those customers that have departed - cancelled their product subscription, uninstalled your app, etc. Let's jump into some of the more popular ones.

Survey Them
While most companies have a survey on their cancellation page, don't forget that you can also email past customers and request more feedback. You can ask them why they cancelled or what suggestions they might have for your company. Members that cancelled have a wealth of knowledge that can help steer your product and engineering efforts.


CLICK HERE to read more excellent business tips in our Business Opportunities Blog


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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