Tuesday, 24 July, 2007

Creating your own News Page

-Akshay Ranganath

For a long time, I used to always wonder if it would be possible to collate news that I was interested in and then offer it on my blog. Say for example, if I was having a web site on Web 2.0, would it be possible to offer latest news from some authentic source. The obvious reason would be to provide more material to my viewers and ensuring that they are satisfied with the overall experience on the site.

Identifying an Architecture

One simple architecture that I could identify was this: Why not try and subscribe to RSS feed from some of the web sites that served news content that correlated to our web site and somehow display the same? With this idea in mind, I went on a search and found this site called Feed2JS. On this site, if you provide the URL of the RSS, it provides a JavaScript code. If you embed this code into your site, the RSS contents can be displayed on the web site using any style sheet that you choose.

In fact the web site Feed2JS also offers the ability to choose the style sheet. It is quite rudimentary but, can definitely be used and then worked upon to provide a better style as needed by your web site.

Creating Feed – In Action

The whole process is very simple. Just log into the site Feed2JS and then, type in the feed URL that you want as a Javascript. Choose the preview option to see how it looks. Toggle the various entries to see how the feed can be made more attractive. Once satisfied, choose the Generate Javascript button and create the feed.

Just take this code and paste it in your blog or HTML page between the <body> and </body> tags. That is it! The news feed is now active on your website. Check out the example on our blog at our RSS section. In short this is all you need to do:

So, why is it so interesting?

Well, think about it this way: You are a web site offering news releases to everyone. There are sites who'd like to have your release provide you give them a functionality of changing the look and feel so that it matches their web site.

In the pre-Web2.0 world, you'd have to build mini-web sites with the style sheet for each of the client. This would have been a maintenance nightmare. Now, all you need to do is provide an RSS feed that they client can consume and display it wherever and however they want it! All you need to do is just configure the RSS system to generate one more RSS feed.

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