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3/11/2013

Adding RSS Feed Items

Overview

Feed items can be added to an RSS feed that has already been associated with a page or directory from the Content > Pages listing area. Feed items can also be edited, imported, rebuilt, and deleted from this area. The number of items that can be displayed on page can be configured to be between 1 and 9,999.

If the RSS feed has been applied to a directory, the pages will inherit the settings when creating a new page. The feed selection can be built into a template and that template, entitled for example, News Article, can be selected to create the new page.

Otherwise prior to using RSS, a Level 10 administrator must configure the RSS feed. For more information:

Setting Up RSS

When pages are published, scheduled to publish or to expire, RSS feeds assigned to that page are rebuilt and thus update any edited or newly added items. RSS feeds can also be combined into an aggregate feed. When a member feed is rebuilt, the aggregate is rebuilt also. RSS feeds and aggregates get rebuilt to production and publish targets alike when Multi-Target Publish is configured and in use.

 

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Adding an RSS Item to a Feed Using a Page Template

When a page has been assigned to a feed, the feed icon will be made available in the folder structure and page views. Click on this feed item icon to create a new item, modify an existing item, import an existing feed, or delete an item.

If an RSS-type page template is available and was selected for a new page, the item information is passed from the new page wizard to the item. For example's sake, the News Article Page template is used here. Page templates can be specific to a directory. A user would need to have appropriate permissions to the News directory (for example).

Example of RSS New Page Template

  1. Navigate to the appropriate directory and click New to add a new page. Choose the News Article Page or designated RSS template.
  2. The available options are similar to those when using other templates for page creation. Options specific to RSS templates might include adding a teaser image, an article image, and a thumbnail image for the RSS item.
  3. Choose the appropriate RSS Feed from the drop-down menu.

The RSS feed is automatically associated to the page by the template definition and at this point items can be added and edited.

 

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Adding an RSS Item to a Feed

If the RSS feed item is not automatically configured from the template definition, it can be added to an existing page. The RSS feed has to have been assigned by a Level 10 administrator prior to being able to add items.

  1. Navigate to Content > Pages.


    Content Pages
  2. Create or check out the desired page to which the item should be associated.
  3. Click on the Item icon.

    Within the folder structure:

    Item Icon

    From the Page Actions toolbar from within the page's view:
    Item Icon
  4. From this screen, a new item may be created, or existing items can be edited or imported.
  5. To add a new item, fill in the fields:

    Description: The Description field provides an area to add a bit of descriptive text about the feed item.

    Link: The Link field is auto-populated with a link to the absolute URL of the published page that the RSS feed item links to.

    Author: The Author field is auto-populated with the name and email address of the logged-in content author.

    Publication Date
    : The Publication Date is auto-populated with a variable that provides today’s date. It can also be manually entered here, but it is recommended that it be left set to “[auto]” so that the OU Campus system can automatically fill it in with the date the page is published. If manually entered, the format for this field must conform with RFC 822 (e.g.: Sat, 07 Sep 2012 02:00:00 GMT). Please see the Best Practices heading on this page for more information.

    Extra XML
    : Use the Extra XML field to define additional XML nodes to be included in this article's RSS information. XML information should be entered in the form of <node>data</node>.
    Feed Details
  6. Click Create. To update the XML file for the feed and publish it to the production server, the feed should be rebuilt. See: Rebuilding a Feed. If the page content is changed, then the page should be published.

More than one item can be associated with a page; even though, this usually isn't the case. Once a feed item is added, it can be edited to add media content.

 

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Editing a Feed Item

Editing a feed item includes fields similar as to when adding an item, and also includes the ability to add media content when using the Media RSS template.

1. Click the RSS Item icon for the page. Click Edit Existing RSS Items.
Edit Existing RSS Items

2. Click the Edit icon for the item to edit.

RSS List of Items to Edit

3. Edit as necessary. The fields are as follows:

Description: The Description field provides an area to add a bit of descriptive text about the feed item.

Link: The Link field is auto-populated with a link to the absolute URL of the published page that the RSS feed item links to.

Author: The Author field is auto-populated with the name and email address of the content author.

Publication Date: The Publication Date is auto-populated with a variable that provides today's date. It can also be manually entered here, but it is recommended that it be left set to “[auto]” so that the OU Campus system can automatically fill it in with today's date.

Media Content: New media items can be added, and existing media items can be edited or deleted. For more information:

Adding Media Content

Extra XML: Use the Extra XML field to define additional XML nodes to be included in this article's RSS information. XML information should be entered in the form of <node>data</node>.

4. Click Update.

5. Click the Rebuild icon to rebuild the RSS feed. This republishes the XML file to the production server.

 

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Adding Media Content

Once a feed item is added, it can be edited to add media content.

  1. Click the RSS Item icon for the page.
  2. Click Edit Existing RSS Items.
  3. Click the Add Media Content from the Update RSS Item screen. This displays the New RSS Media Content panel.
    New RSS Media Content Window
  4. Click Choose a media file to select the media file to be added. The file must already be uploaded to the production server. For more about media types see: About RSS. This choice populates the Link field.
  5. Add a Title and Description.
  6. Click Choose a media file under Thumbnail, if necessary.
  7. Click Update

Once the page is published, the item is added to the feed identified in the access settings. Media content can be edited by clicking the media item link or deleted by clicking on the Trash icon.

Media Content Items

 

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Rebuilding a Feed

To ensure the feed on the production server is up to date, the feed can be rebuilt after adding, updating, importing, or deleting items. Level 7 users and higher can use Rebuild Feed to publish the XML file for the feed item to the production server. Users under a Level 7 will need to request that an administrator rebuild the feed. 

Rebuild Feed

1. Click the RSS items icon.

2. Click the Edit Existing RSS Items link.

3. Click Rebuild Feed.

4. Confirm to republish.

Note: An RSS feed can be published to an alternate publish target during rebuild, by users with appropriate permissions.

 

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Importing an Existing Feed

An existing RSS feed can be imported to add feed items to an existing feed in OU Campus.

  1. Click the RSS Items icon for the page. This displays the RSS items for a feed.
  2. Select Import RSS Items.
    Import RSS Items
  3. Enter the URL to the feed from which the items are being imported into the box. For example, http://omniupdate.com/syndication/aggregate.xml. That will import the feed items listed at a particular page.
    Import Feed
  4. Click Import. After importing the items, the items can also be edited. Additionally, if the item should point to a different link than the one defined in the import, this too can be updated.
  5. Rebuild Feed to republish the feed. This writes the XML file to the production server.

 

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Deleting RSS Feed Items

To delete a feed item:

1. Click the RSS Items icon for the page. 

Delete RSS Item

2. Click the Delete icon and confirm.

 

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Best Practices

Best Practices for Publication Date

It is recommended to leave the Publication Date field for an RSS item set to [auto]. The Publication Date refers to the date of the RSS feed item, not the date of an event. The RSS specification requires a specific date format in conformance with RFC 822. Examples of a valid format include:


Sat, 07 Sep 2012 02:00:00 GMT
Mon, 23 Jan 2012 17:02:09 -800
Mon, 06 Sep 2012 16:45:00 +0000
Wed, 04 Feb 2012 08:00:00 EST

If the incorrect date/time format is entered into the Publication Date field, the RSS feed will fail validation.

Best Practices for Media RSS

The Media RSS specification allows for linking to media. The link is to a file that should be uploaded to the production server before linking to it from the RSS feed item. Linking to a media file in RSS feed item allows for a progressive download of the file. In other words, when the link is clicked (depending upon the configuration of the user’s system and browser) video files are recognized and played (even while the download is being completed). 

Media RSS is compatible with any media content, so long as that content may be reached from a valid URL. This includes the following media types:

  • Flash
  • DIVX
  • Quicktime
  • Windows Media
  • Real Player
  • WAV
  • MP3
  • “Podcasts”

Other file types may also be added as media content. For example image files, PDF files, MS Word documents, and web pages.

Note: For true streaming, podcasts can be uploaded via OU Campus, and streaming software installed on the production server to support streaming.


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