I hate to sound like a groupie or something, but I love your site, Dave, and I’d love to be able to include a little box somewhere on my own site that featured your latest entries! Is this doable, and if so, how do I do it?
Gosh, thanks. Just don’t hang out in my neighborhood with super-long telephoto cameras, okay? 🙂
It turns out that I was visiting my pals at NewsGator and they showed me an incredibly slick way that we can use their online RSS aggregation services – for free – to accomplish exactly what you ask.
Let me step through how I set this up, then show you the one line of code you need to add to your site to get exactly what you seek, a displayable version of my RSS feed, updated automatically every time I post something new here on Ask Dave Taylor!
First off, I logged in to my NewsGator Online service and clicked on the “newsgator manager” tab, then on “Edit Locations”:
To accomplish my custom RSS feed info, I need to skip past the existing locations (which let Newsgator automatically keep my feeds in sync, whether I’m checking via mobile phone, within MS Outlook, or through Newsgator Online, but that’s another story) and create a new location, conveniently labeled “Create location”.
I’m going to call the new location “ADT RSS Feed”, and press submit:
Now I have a new “Location” that’s ready to be customized:
First off, I really do not want my new RSS subscriptions to suddenly show up on your site’s mirror of my content, so I’ll change that option by choosing “Click to change”.
Next, I click on “feeds” and get this:
Since I want the resultant feed to be just Ask Dave Taylor, I’ll click on “uncheck all”, then scroll down and just select Ask Dave Taylor (yes, I subscribe to my own weblog. Doesn’t everyone? 🙂
I check the box adjacent to my site, scroll to the bottom, click “update” and I’m back at the main Edit Locations window again. This time I’ll click on “headlines” since that’s what I want featured in the feed. It shows me:
That’s just a single box to check, once. The fun part’s a bit lower on the page:
If you have even the slightest geeky tendencies you should be looking at this and saying “ooohhhhh cooooool!” because, as you can see, it’s incredibly easy to tweak the feed info to be exactly what you want. Since I’m only including data from one feed source, for example, I’ll lose the $feedname$ and the date of the posting, and instead slip in some CSS classes so that people who want to fine-tune the results for their own design templates can do so. Here’s my template text:
<div class="adt_feeds"><a href="$link$" target="blank" class="adt_feed_link">$title$</a> <div class="adt_feed_desc">$description$</div></div>
Notice also that I can decide how many entries to include from the RSS feed and whether to show full-feed or partial feed info regardless of whether the feed itself is a so-called “full feed” or not. I’ll stick with the defaults for now, and here’s the result:
I’ve dropped it into a CSS box so it stands out from the surrounding text on the page. You can do that too by wrapping the entire div in a “<div style=”border:1px solid black;padding;3px”>” or similar, or just definite that attribute for the class “adt_feeds’ in your CSS style sheet!
That’s right, to get that slick box showing up on your site, featuring the ever-changing world of Ask Dave Taylor on your own weblog or home page, simply cut and paste the following one line of code:
<script src="http://services.newsgator.com/ngws/headlines.aspx?uid=5079&mid=5"> </script>
That’s astonishingly simple both for me to configure and, most importantly, you to include my feed info on your own Web site. Kudos to Newsgator for yet another way cool hidden feature. And it’s free! What’s not to love about it?
For the rest of you reading this, you’re also welcome to paste the above line of code into your own site: the more, the merrier.