Our "enfeedia" Feed

14 Apr 2011 06:52
UPDATE: New 'Random Item Selection' feature for galleries, reports, music, events, and more 
enfeedia RSS feed publisher FeedBack ( 0) UPDATE: Now you can specify how many items you want selected at random, and can use this feature with either the Remote or Local version of the shootOnSite script. The previous announcement below has been edited to reflect this improvement.


Usually RSS feeds are used to announce news. Showing news items in chronological order makes sense, so that what the viewer sees is the most recently posted news. When feeds are used for news items, often only the most recently posted half dozen items are of interest, the older ones now being old news.

But there are important applications of feeds for items which need not be shown in chronological order by posting date and for which all items in the feed maintain their value because they are not time sensitive. Applications include using feeds for art or photo galleries, for publishing reports such as investment and health tips, for promoting music, and so on.

The question then arises of how to give all items "equal time" when syndicated on a webpage -- your's or other's. If many items are posted on the feed, showing all the items may not be practical because of space limitations on the webpage.

To address this issue, Enfeedia now offers a Random Item Selection feature wherein one or more items of the feed can be selected at random and displayed whenever the webpage syndicating the feed is opened. Space on the webpage is just that needed for one item. Viewers of the feed, if interested in what they see, can click on the round RSS button to open the feed in a NewsPage and view all items in the feed.

Here's how to implement this feature. Proceed to get the embedding code, as usual, by clicking the Stylize & Promote Feeds link. Follow the instructions to get code snippet for the Remote NewsOnSite version. In the list of options, you will now find one for Random Item Selection. Or if you have already installed the code snippet on your site, you can simply add, for example, &GUID=-1 (notice the minus sign after the equals sign!) to the code immediately ahead of the closing "); code. The example shows selecting one item at random; change the -1 to correspond to the number of items you want selected (e.g., for 5 items, use -5).

Insert the code snippet onto your website as usual. You're done.

One more thing. Those of you who are familiar with SEO techniques know that search engines favor websites that have fresh content. Because, with this feature, items are selected at random for presentation each time the page is opened, search engines are highly likely to see different item(s) each time they crawl the page, interpreting the new item(s) as fresh content. Your webpage in which the feed is syndicated will get the benefit of that fresh content.