Include Contact Info


Some of the RSS documentation is pretty unclear so even if your feed validates, some of your readers may still run into problems. For that reason it's helpful to include email contact information in your feed. This way your readers can alert you to potential problems. They can also stay in contact with you, which is great: Feedback can help you hone your feed to your readers' interests.

In RSS 0.91, 0.92, and 2.0, you use the <webMaster> and <managingEditor> elements to store email addresses of your Web site's Webmaster and your feed's managing editor.

In RSS 1.0, you use the <dc:creator> and <dc:publisher> tags.

There's another option for including information about your feed, if none of the established RSS elements seem right: an XML comment. Because RSS feeds are XML documents, you can use XML comments legally. However, there's some question as to whether or not that's considered good RSS practiceRSS readers that aren't expecting XML comments might not know what to do with them.

XML comments contain text that comments on the XML document. Just like comments in HTML, XML comments start with <!-- and end with -->. The following example shows how to add a comment to an RSS document that wouldn't otherwise fit into an established RSS element.

    <?xml version="1.0"?>    <!DOCTYPE rss SYSTEM      "http://my.netscape.com/publish/formats/rss-0.91.dtd">    <rss version="0.91">      <channel>        <copyright>Copyright 2005.</copyright>        <pubDate>Wed, 14 Dec 2005 07:00:00 GMT</pubDate>        <lastBuildDate>Mon, 12 Dec 2005 07:00:00 GMT</lastBuildDate>        <docs>http://www.rssmaniac.com/steve/info.html</docs>        <description>This feed contains news from Steve!</description>        <link>http://www.rssmaniac.com/steve</link>        <title>Steve's News!</title>        <language>en-us</language>        <image>          <title>Steve's News</title>          <url>http://www.rssmaniac.com/steve/Image.jpg</url>          <link>http://www.rssmaniac.com/steve</link>          <description>Steve's News</description>          <width>144</width>          <height>36</height>        </image>        <managingEditor>steve@rssmaniac.com (Steve)</managingEditor>        <webMaster>steve@rssmaniac.com (Steve)</webMaster>        <!-- Created using the RSS Maniac template. www.rssmaniac.com        -->        <skipHours>          <hour>8</hour>          <hour>9</hour>          <hour>10</hour>        </skipHours>        <skipDays>          <day>Sunday</day>        </skipDays>        <item>          <title>Steve shovels the snow</title>          <description>It snowed once again.            Time to shovel!>          </description>          <link>http://www.rssmaniac.com/steve</link>        </item>        <textinput>          <title>Search for other items</title>          <description>What do you want to find?</description>          <name>search</name>          <link>http://www.rssmaniac.com/find.php</link>        </textinput>      </channel>    </rss> 


So including information about your feed by using XML comments is an option. But because people would have to read your RSS document directly to see those commentsand since those comments might cause problems in some RSS readersit's still best to put contact and other information in the usual RSS elements if you can.

And that's it! You've finished the book, and you're now an honest-to-goodness RSS expert. Best of luck on creating your new feed, and may you find many dedicated and loyal readers.



Secrets of RSS
Secrets of RSS
ISBN: 0321426223
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 110

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