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How To Put An XML Feed On Your Webpage

Really Simple Syndication (RSS) has taken off in a big way. Just as satellite television beams more channels into your home than you can watch, RSS allows to you display an endless amount of other peoples content. Whilst RSS XML feeds are plenty, there's not as much in the way of clear, simple instruction when it comes to making use of those feeds.

If you're one of the webmasters who uses a content management system that makes using RSS XML feeds as simple as specifying a feed URL then you're fortunate in that respect. For others, the options available tend to be offered by developers of the software and the usage instructions provided can often be riddled with technical jargon. Many cry, "Use my feed", but fewer tell you how.

One of the best and easiest ways I've found to show the content from an RSS XML feed on one of my web sites is to use a ready made PHP parser. Now, don't worry about what that means, just think of it as somthing that someone has already created; a blackbox that makes it easy for you to use content from RSS feeds and display it on your web site.

For this guide, I've used MagpieRSS because it's compact, works well and is distributed under the GPL, which basically means it's free for you to use. Now, MagpieRSS is written in PHP so you'll need a compatible hosting account that allows you to execute PHP scripts.

For the purposes of this guide, I'm assuming you've some level of basic knowledge about web sites e.g. you know how to FTP, change file permissions etc. Covering the basics of running a web site is beyond the scope of this article.

RSS art

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Instead, let's cover what are probably the most difficult steps; displaying the content from an RSS feed on your web site.

1. Download the latest stable release of MagpieRSS.

2. Extract the contents of the ZIP file onto your computer.

3. The core files you need from the ZIP package are rss_cache.inc, rss_fetch.inc, rss_parse.inc, rss_utils.inc. You'll also need the extlib folder together with the Snoopy.class.inc file inside of it.

4. Create a new file to display your RSS feed. I've called mine, index.php. Inside this file, copy and paste the contents of the file referred to below and save it.

5. Upload all of the files and the folder mentioned in steps 3 and 4 to your hosting account. Put them into the desired location, but ensure that the Snoopy.class.inc file is still within the extlib folder.

6. Then visit the file you created in step 4 using your web browser.

That's the basics of it. Once you've got this far, customising the way you present the content of the feed is relatively easy. Just refer back to the MagpieRSS web site for guidance on how to do this.

About the Writer of this Article

William Lee is the Internet Marketing Fool. The MagpieRSS web site is http://magpierss.sourceforge.net/. The code to copy in step 4 can be found at http://snipurl.com/example_code.

8 TOP Ways To Promote Your RSS/XML Feed For MAXIMUM Exposure

RSS(Real Simple Syndication) is the new technology on the block and is taking the Internet by storm as Internet marketers are hurrying to incorporate this new form of communication and technology into there existing online businesses to Maximize there exposure online with NEW and/or Existing customers.

I recently received a post on my Blog from a fellow that inspired me to write this article since I found the nature of the topic important to ALL who are serious about getting the most out of there RSS feed and this new technology.

I'm pretty sure you can guess what he ask from reading the headline of this article.

Well... I did some research on what he had asked of me and came up with...

"8 TOP Ways To Promote Your RSS/XML Feed For MAXIMUM Exposure"

So, with that said, let's dive into the first and MOST important step to Maximizing your RSS feed for the exposure it deserves.

Step #1. Build a dedicated webpage for your RSS feed.

This is probably the most important part of getting the most out of your RSS feed, is by building your own dedicated webpage for your RSS feed subscription.

The KEY here is to give your potential readers many options to adding Your RSS feed.

The best way for me to illustrate this to you is by clicking on the link below that leads to my dedicated RSS feed subscription page so you can see first hand what you need to do to get yours started.

Click here: http://www.internetwondersezine.com/rss_feed.html

Did you notice all the different options I give?

That's what you need to do.

Now, for those of you who aren't so web savvy, don't worry, I have something for you that will auto-generate a RSS feed webpage for you within minutes if you already have a Blog or RSS feed.

The service I'm talking about is called FeedBurner.com -- http://www.feedburner.com -- and is a free service for you to sign up for.

Here's what my webpage through FeedBurner.com looks like so you'll have an idea of what yours will look like.

http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheInternetWondersBlog

Do you see all the options they give your potential readers to add your RSS feed to there RSS readers?

Once you've accomplished one of the two options above your all set to start promoting your RSS feed for MAXIMUM exposure.

Step #2. Add links to your RSS feed webpage on your web site.

This is yet just another way to pull your visitors towards your RSS feed webpage by simply adding Text or Graphic links to your existing webpages.

Make sure you put them in Highly visible area's where your visitors will see your links.

I would would put one at the top, middle and bottom of your web site.

This really depends on what kind of web site you have so you'll have to use your own dicression.

Here's what I have done on my web site to give you an example.

Click here: http://www.internetwondersezine.com

Step #3. Add this HTML tag to your RSS feed webpage.

Here's something you can add to all your web sites webpages that will get the attention of Search Engines spiders to come on over and check out your RSS feed further.

Simple add the following HTML tag to the of your document:

link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="YOUR SITE TITLE RSS Feed" href="URL TO RSS FILE"/

(note: add this < in front of "link rel" and this > to the end after the forward slash /)

Step #4. Some idea's if you have your own newsletter.

If you have your own newsletter like I do, here's a couple ways to get your visitors to visit your RSS feed webpage.

Add a link on your "Thank You" page that leads to your RSS feed webpage. Whether its a Text or Graphic link.

The key here is to get your RSS feed link in front of your readers as much as possible to get them to add your RSS feed to there readers.

The next one is, add a link inside your "Welcome" email that's sent out to your New newsletter subscriber after they've subscribed.

This again, will give you another chance of getting them to add your RSS feed to there readers.

Step #5. Put together a "Signature File".

Here's another couple great ways to get your RSS feed webpage more exposure every time you send out an email or post to any online forums is by simply putting together a "Signature File".

Now, every time you sent out an email to your list and/or business contact you can attached your "Signature File" at the end of every email you send.

The same goes for online forums, every time you make a post or answer someone else's, your "Signature File" will be automatically attached.

Your "Signature File" doesn't have to be a huge, a few enticing lines will do fine with your RSS feed URL.

Step #6. Submit your RSS feed to RSS Directories and SE's.

Another great way to give your RSS feed more exposure is by submitting it or them to RSS Directories and Search Engines.

I've listed a few resources for you below to get you started with.

- Feed Shark

http://feedshark.brainbliss.com

- Ping-O-Matic

http://pingomatic.com

- RSS Top 55

http://www.masternewmedia.org/rss/top55

Step #7. Write an article, if you write articles.

This is a great way to get your RSS feed webpage in front of thousands of targeted readers absolutely FREE!

Simply write an article on a HOT topic within your niche, and at the end of your article add an enticing, attention grabbing "Resource Box" that points to your RSS feed webpage URL.

Step #8. Set-Up a PPC(Pay-Per-Click) campaign.

For the last step to getting your RSS feed webpage Maximum exposure is to set-up a PPC campaign.

By doing this you will be able to send HIGHLY targeted traffic to your RSS feed webpage that are hungry for the information you have to offer.

The only downside to doing the PPC tactic is that it will cost you.

And, this tactic solely depends on whether or not you chose to set-up an RSS feed webpage of your own.

Now, I'm sure there are many others ways out there that could draw in more visitors to your RSS feed, but, these ones I just outlined in this article are the Best ones in my mind and are the ones I use.

Well, this concludes the, "8 TOP Ways To Promote Your RSS/XML Feed For MAXIMUM Exposure", so, the only thing I have left to say to you is... Get Started!

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RSS Feeds 101: A Step-by-Step Guide to Distributing and Promoting Your Site's XML Feed

So you've decided to beef up your web site by adding an XML feed. This is a great idea; whether you maintain a personal weblog or operate an independent news site, adding an XML feed is a surefire way to keep your RSS-friendly readers in the know. Not only will they appreciate the access to constantly updated content, they'll love no longer having to check the site daily for new information -- now it comes straight to them! What's more, maintaining an XML feed makes it highly possible for you to attract readers who otherwise may have never stumbled onto your site. Everyone wins.

But how, exactly, do you find (and eventually keep) those readers?

1. Use the Community. No matter the subject area of your web site, the vastness of the Internet is bound to have some sort of burgeoning community for it. Readers and writers of RSS feeds love to communicate, so get in there and communicate with them! Find like-minded sites featuring like-minded feeds and trade links; if the site-owners appreciate your content, they'll almost always share the information with others. These virtual hubs of knowledge are well worth getting to know -- word of mouth, after all, is a powerful thing.

2. Keep Up the Updates. Though this seems to go without saying, frequently updating the content of your site is vital to the life of your XML feed. The purpose here is two-fold. First of all, fresh and well-written content is the best way to keep readers coming back for more; after all, an XML feed thrives on constant updates and readers expect that sort of timeliness. But secondly, and perhaps most importantly, frequently updating your content keeps your site's name near the top of the directories' list of newly updated feeds. By attempting to stay near the front page, readers will come to know you as a common player, thus increasing their interest in what you have to say. Just make sure you aren't updating simply for the sake of updating; RSS-users are capable of seeing right through that tactic and will sometimes abandon a feed for being too obnoxious in its promotional efforts.

3. Remember the Reader. It's important to make your XML feed as accessible and user-friendly as possible. Say, for instance, that a reader stumbles onto your site and enjoys the content but knows nothing about RSS, how it works and how they can use it. Well, why not help them out? Create a separate page on your site that explains the function and purpose of RSS and clues readers in to some of the best aggregators; often, they'll take heed, check out the format and subscribe to your feed. And they might even share the information with some of their friends!

4. Feature the Feed. It's also important to make your XML feed's presence very apparent on your site. Make sure to place the orange XML or RSS button in a place that readers will immediately see it; they can't subscribe, after all, if they don't know it's there. And get acquainted with the capabilities of different web browsers. Some, such as Firefox, will automatically detect a site's XML feed and ask users if they'd like to subscribe, a feature called Auto-Discovery All you have to do is enable it within your feed using the browser's enabling code and your XML feed will be automatically promoted for you. And after all the work you've done to boost up your visibility, isn't it worth just another second's effort to have some of the promotion accomplished for you?

5. Know the Directories. One of the easiest and most efficient ways to get your XML feed noticed above the World Wide Web's white noise is to submit it to as many RSS directories as possible. These sites function for the sole purpose of listing new and newly updated feeds. Diligent readers will frequently browse for content, thirsty for the freshest information the Internet has to offer, and maintaining your presence on these directories is essential to alerting readers of your presence. Granted, this is sometimes easier said than done; hundred, if not thousands, of RSS directories exist and hundreds, if not thousands, of XML feeds fight for a presence on them. But by knowing the best directories to submit to (see the links below for just a few) and keeping abreast of any new directories that pop up, your XML feed won't go unnoticed.

Sonia Winters writes for Andy Hagans Link Building ( http://www.andyhagans.com ), an SEO firm offering link building services.

How to Use SQLXML to Retrieve Data from SQL Server Database?

Using SQL Server 2000 and above versions you can retrieve data from SQL Server in XML format directly from the database. Many XML related features were incorporated in the SQL Server database. This enables the development of XML enabled applications very easy and it makes exchange of data over internet easy. In this article we will discuss about how to use SQLXML to retrieve data directly from SQL server database in XML format.

There are some SQL commands and clauses that help you to retrieve data from the SQL Server in the XML format. Syntax for such is given below:

SELECT ... FOR XML mode [, XMLDATA] [, ELEMENTS] [, BINARY BASE64]

There are different modes and that take the values of

· AUTO – In this mode every row of the result of the query forms an element in the returned XML document.

· EXPLICIT – This mode defines how to map the columns of the results returned by the query to the XML elements and the attributes.

· RAW - All the fields of the result are identified as attributes of an element.

· NESTED – The result of this mode is the same as the AUTO mode but the formatting has to be done at the client side.

A simple example of using the above syntax is given below:

SELECT TOP 3 * FROM (SELECT FirstName+' '+LastName as Name FROM Employees) FOR XML AUTO

The query produces this result:

Employees Name="John Peter"
Employees Name="Andrew Dixon"
Employees Name="Tom Hanks"

There are optional parameters in the ‘FOR XML mode’ clause. The XMLDATA option adds an XSD schema which describes the XML format of the result returned. The ELEMENTS options make the fields of the tables in the database to be returned as child elements. If the ELEMENTS option is not there the fields of the tables are returned as attributes instead of child elements of the XML document. The ELEMENTS option is allowed only in the AUTO mode. The BINARY BASE64 option is used to retrieve any binary data. The returned binary data is returned in BASE64 encoded format. The binary data can be retrieved in the RAW or EXPLICIT mode.

An example of the RAW mode is given below:

SELECT EmpName, EmpCity from EMP for XML RAW

The above code returns a result like,

row EmpName=”John” EmpCity=”New York”

In the above result you can note that the fields of the resultset are returned as attributes of the element.

.Net provides with managed classes for interacting with SQL Server. The managed classes of SQLXML provided by .Net are:

· SqlXMLCommand – This is used to perform queries that are stored in XML documents which are also called XML templates. This class also provides support for client side XML processing.

· SqlXMLParameter – this is used to provide parameterized values and is used along with SqlXMLCommand object.

· SqlXMLAdapter – this is the adapter class for SQLXML provider. This is used to fill the dataset.

· SqlXMLException – this is used to trap the error information from the SQL Server.

A sample code using the managed classes is given below. For detailed information on the usage of the above managed classes you can refer to the MSDN documentation.

static string cstr = "Provider=SQLOLEDB;Server=(local);database=EmpPersonal;"; public static void testingSqlXML () {

Stream oStr = Console.OpenStandardOutput();

SqlXMLCommand sqlcmd = new SqlXMLCommand(cstr);

sqlcmd.Root = "Employees";

sqlcmd.CommandType = SqlXMLCommandType.Sql;

sqlcmd.CommandText = "SELECT EmpName, EmpCity FROM Employees FOR XML AUTO";

strm = sqlcmd.ExecuteToStream(oStr);

oStr.Close(); }

Thus we have seen that SQLXML can be used to retrieve data directly from the SQL Server in XML format. It is easy to handle and transmit data through the internet if it is in the XML format and this can be easily achieved using the SQLXML.

Want to stay current with the latest technology developments realted to XML. Visit Free XML Tutorial to get your FREE subscription now!

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