Archive for the ‘Blog Publishing’ Category

RSS for Beginners

Have you ever noticed those inviting orange buttons on some web pages, or spotted the odd link pitching an “RSS feed”? If you’ve ever clicked one out of curiosity, and then scratched your head at the unformatted gobbledygook in your web browser, you’ve seen an RSS file.

xml.gif

What is it really for, anyway? Two things: RSS (Really Simple Syndication) and Atom are two specialized formats that create what’s commonly called a news feed, or just feed. A feed is an easy way for sites to share headlines and stories so that you can read them without having to visit two dozen different web pages everyday.

In other words, web builders use feeds to dish out fresh news and content from their websites and web surfers can use feed applications to collect custom-tailored selections of their favorite websites to be read at their leisure.


Continue Reading “RSS for Beginners” »

Use Media RSS

With the explosive growth of podcasting, publishers are including more multimedia in their RSS feeds than ever. While the method of including media content in an RSS feed with enclosures is fairly well known, there are other methods available for including media content in RSS feeds, one of which is Media RSS.

Media RSS is an RSS module that was created to expand the way that multimedia content could be included in an RSS feed.

Originally authored by Yahoo! to improve media enclosures in RSS and also allow the submission of media content to its search engine via RSS, the development of Media RSS has since been opened up to the RSS community through the rss-media mailing list. Full disclosure: I’m also one of the people at Yahoo! who worked on the creation of Media RSS.

Continue Reading “Use Media RSS” »

Add Feeds to Your Site With MagpieRSS

If content is king, then fresh, ever-changing, dynamic content must be the Emperor. If what you’re looking for is new, daily content on your site, why not take it from someone else? Goodness knows there are a million RSS feeds out there just begging for aggregation.

Integrating someone else’s news feed is relatively quick and painless when compared to the dull ache of writer’s block. While there are any number of RSS aggregation tools out there for you to use, many prefer MagpieRSS. It’s a light, flexible, open source PHP script that’s practically bomb-proof.

Though it’s currently the fourth most-popular programming language out there, some programmers are loathe to work in PHP. Possibly, they’re leery of the server-side load stress which, yes, in certain circumstances, can become an issue. However, for simple tasks like RSS aggregation, a PHP solution is far less taxing than a JavaScript equivalent. Or maybe it’s just the fear that having to use *.php file name extensions is going to break all of the file references in a site. Who knows? It is time to get over these fears.

Continue Reading “Add Feeds to Your Site With MagpieRSS” »
File Under: Blog Publishing

How Many Users Are on Your Site Right Now

Hello, readers. You seem to be sending me a lot of e-mail lately. Fortunately, my spam sorter takes care of most of it, but a substantial stream of questions and comments keeps pouring in, inscrutable character sets and all. I wish they were all as eloquent as this one:

Paul Loved your articel! I have a few question. 1 How to setup? thanks.. derek meatburp

…but lately there have been more than a couple asking how to implement what’s apparently a very desirable feature — a little display of how many users are currently accessing a site. Of course there are dozens of pre-packaged scripts to do this, but, just because I love you all, let’s take a walk through a couple of ways to build this sort of feature from scratch. We’ll use PHP, the popular and friendly scripting language, for our examples.

Continue Reading “How Many Users Are on Your Site Right Now” »
File Under: Blog Publishing

Get Started With Movable Type

You recently decided hosted blogging is for the birds. You want more control over your blog’s setup. In fact, you want total control over every last detail of your layout, functionality and design. So what do you do? Where do you turn?

One popular option is the Movable Type publishing system from Six Apart (other popular options include Drupal, Joomla!, and WordPress). Movable Type contains pretty much everything you need to get your own site up and running, plus the flexibility to get really obsessive over the details. Also, with a little creativity and some community-created plugins, you can power much more than just a reverse-chronological list of blog posts.

This tutorial won’t go into the Movable Type installation process in-depth since there are many resources online already. What we’ll cover is the process of dressing up a vanilla Movable Type installation by customizing the look and feel of your new site. We’ll also get you started with some custom features by installing some plugins.

Continue Reading “Get Started With Movable Type” »