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January, 2008

Free Writing Resources!

RSS Part II: Feeding Your Website
Feed your website
By  Mark Daoust

Using RSS feeds, put your information at the fingertips of Internet surfers.
ow that you understand the basics of RSS feeds (read Part I), we'll look at putting feeds on your website. Again, don't worry if we get a bit technical on you. It will all make valuable sense in the end.

Why would any webmaster choose an RSS feed over a JavaScript, iFrame, PHP, or other type of feed? The answer is simply flexibility. With an RSS feed, you can take the content, arrange it how you want, make it fit the exact look and feel of your website, and control how much or how little information you are displaying on your website. And, unlike JavaScript, search engines will be able to read the content you are displaying on your site.

But how, exactly, do you take the content that is formatted to the RSS feed and turn that into workable HTML on your site? There is no other way than to parse the information using programming code. Now, if you are not a programmer, don't be frightened by this. Because RSS is so well organized, converting information from an RSS feed to HTML is actually very simple.

The first way is to use an RSS parsing script. To find a good script that does this, just go to, or any other script repository, choose the programming language that you are most comfortable with, and look under the XML section. This is usually a webmaster's preferred option. Because of many webmaster's unfamiliarity with programming languages, pre-written scripts are a good way to get that RSS feed on your website in no time.

If you are feeling more adventurous, you can attempt to parse the RSS feed on your own. Although this may sound like a daunting task, it is actually a lot easier than it seems. Remember, RSS exists to organize information. Because RSS presents you with information already organized into consistent, recognizable tags, pulling information out of an RSS feed becomes highly simplified. Even better, parsing RSS feeds is a popular topic on the Internet, and you will find many applicable and informative articles with a simple Web search.

Many webmasters do not have any knowledge of programming at all and do not feel comfortable installing scripts or writing their own parsing scripts. Although it is highly encouraged that all webmasters learn to not fear programming languages such as PHP or ASP, you always have the option to hire a programmer to write a quick RSS parser for you. In all reality, if your requirements are simple, an RSS feed parser should take an experienced programmer no time at all to write. You shouldn't have to pay much to have this done for you.

RSS is useful for authors, distributors, and publishers. If you have a lot of information, or if you have information that quickly changes, RSS enables you to syndicate that information more efficiently than any other technology currently available. Therefore, there is reliable viral marketing value in providing an RSS feed. If you want to incorporate information from another website, an RSS feed offers that information in a highly organized fashion allowing you to easily translate the feed content into any format you prefer.

RSS both places your information at the fingertips of thousands across the Web and gives you access to the Web's best content. Because of the many benefits of RSS for everyone with information they want to broadly distribute, you can expect longevity for RSS technology.
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IN This Issue
Part III: What Your Publisher Won't Tell You
Part II: What Your Publisher Won't Tell You
Part I: What Your Publisher Won't Tell You
The Delusional Is No Longer Marginal
Part II: Researching Nonfiction
Part I: Researching Nonfiction
Rediscover Your Passion
Pet Prose
Successful Influence
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Whose Books Are Turning Into Movies?
Bald Ego
Mouse Over To Pause

Writer’s Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails we’ve known;
Each writer’s block is not a rock,
But just a stepping stone.

Poetry Is Not
Penned to the page
Waiting for us to admire.
It is only a lonely thought
Caught by tears on fire.

Silent Echoes
A quiet rhyme upon a page
Is what a poet gives;
Some gentle words whispered in trust
To see if memory lives.

Bard From Deadlines
What makes a poem finally work
Is not the time it takes;
It’s how the poet used the muse
To prophet from mistakes.

Be Mused
The art and craft of poetry
Are not so far apart;
The craft comes from the cunning,
The rest comes from the heart.

Fine Vintage
Don’t plant your poem on the page
As though you’re hanging drapes;
It’s shape and flow should come and grow
Like wild summer grapes.

Getting It Write
Writers write what they know best,
Their passions, fears, and dreams;
Writers rarely write about
What other call their “themes.”

Double Vision
A writer’s life is paradox,
It’s more than what it seems;
We write of our reality,
The one inside our dreams.

The echo of a promise,
The thunder of a sigh,
The music of a memory,
A child asking why.

Letter Perfect
Twenty six symbols arranged on a page
Can send a soul to heaven or torment it with rage,
Can free a fragile world or hold it in its net--
The power and the magic of the mighty alphabet.

The Write of Passage
The jump from writing just for fun
To getting paid for it
Begins when you first realize
You know you’ll never quit.

It is not the magic of his wings
That sets us free from our bond.
It is the muse within ourselves
That lets our words lift us beyond.

Photo Poet
Consider your mind the darkroom,
Consider your life the lens,
Consider your eye the camera
On whose focus the poem depends.

Rising Moon
A poem is a rising moon
Shining on the sea,
An afterglow of all we know,
Of all we hope to be.

Star Light
Writing a poem,
Reaching a star,
In making good art
We find who we are.

Spider Web
A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.

The final draft upon the screen,
At last my poem’s through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

Read All Of Charles Ghigna's Poetry at

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