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Web Site Design***
Your Headlines Using RSS
RSS is quickly becoming the standard choice
for delivering syndicated web content.
Have you ever wondered
how some of the large content sites deliver
their headlines? Or, have you ever wanted
to display news headlines, but didn't
want to display the standard "Content
Provided By..." info? Or, have you
ever wanted to syndicate your own content?
RSS may be the answer you've been looking
RSS stands for Rich Site
Summary or Really Simple Syndication.
It is an XML format specifically designed
to share content. Netscape originally
developed RSS to drive channels for their
Netscape Netcenter. Formerly known as
RDF, RSS was developed in 1999 and has
quickly evolved into the dominant format
for syndicating content. Well-known sites
such as, CNET, ZDNet, CNN, Wired and many
more utilize this powerful means of dynamic
Distributing your content
using RSS will involve creating one file
that contains your content. This file
will reside on your server to enable other
web sites to display your channel. You
can update your channel simply by updating
Once you've created your
file you can submit it to web sites like
Netscape to enable other web sites to
Creating an RSS File
Your first step will be
to identify your file. To do this, place
the following code at the top of your
<!DOCTYPE rss PUBLIC
RSS 0.91//EN" "http://my.netscape.com/publish/formats/rss-0.91.dtd">
Your next step will be to create your
channel header. The "channel"
tag indicates that you are beginning a
<description>Web Development article
The "title" tag indicates the
name of your channel. The "link"
tag will contain a link to your web site.
The "description" tag describes
your channel and the "language"
tag indicates that you're writing in US
In addition to displaying
text, you can also display a small logo.
The image should be 88 pixels wide and
31 pixels high. Displaying an image is
optional. If you're not going to include
an image, skip this step.
<description>Web Design and Development</description>
Now, you're ready to create your headlines.
Each new "item" tag represents
a new topic. The rule of thumb is to include
between five and fifteen items. You can
include a description, but it isn't required.
<title>Moving Up From Classified
Ads to Display Ad</title>
<description>Display ads are the
standard advertising tool of print media.
You can impress your carefully targeted
audience with a colorful display ad that
spreads across the page of your favorite
magazine, trade bulletin, or newspaper.</description>
<title>Creating A Customized Marquee</title>
<description>Learn how to create
a customized marquee for your web site</description>
Your final step will be to close your
channel by adding the following tags:
Save your new file with a .rss file extension
and upload it to your server.
Your final step will be
to validate your RSS. Visit either of
the following sites to validate your file:
If you'd rather not create
your own RSS file, RSS Channel Editor
is a free Web based tool that makes it
easy to create and maintain RSS files.
You can find the script here: http://www.webreference.com/perl/tools/
Now, you're ready to share
your content. Visit the following web
sites to submit your new channel and enable
other web sites to display your content:
If you'd like to display
RSS content on your web site, you'll need
a script to fetch the content. RSS Fetcher
is a free script that will fetch content,
format it as HTML and store it in a file
on your server. The content can then be
displayed on your web site.
You can locate RSS files
to display on your web site at the following
For further information
about RSS, read Jonathan Eisenzopf's tutorial
entitled, "Using RSS News Feeds."
If you have content that
you regularly update, give RSS a try.
Providing free content is an extremely
powerful method of increasing your web
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