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December 20, 2005

RSS Dilemma

Changing from RSS 2.0 to RSS 1.0 ?

My goal:  To generate an RSS feed for this Website in RSS 2.0 format that will validate, and I can format my content with things like paragraphs and maybe even images and links.  Ideally, I would like to use some kind of Windows based software (xml editor?).

Two weeks ago, I did not know what RSS is.  In the process of creating and promoting this Website, I decided to create an RSS feed.  I have spent many days of research, reading thru specs and tutorials.  I obtained a software called FeedSpring, which does a decent job.  I learned how to use it, and created my RSS feed.  The only real problem - my FeedSpring RSS takes my "description" and creates one lump of text, with no paragraphs.  I see that nearly everyone else has formatting and paragraphs, so I want that too.

An example of someone else with the big lump of text.  If this link does not work, try going to the blog home page and subscribe to the feed.  It is an interesting blog by a real estate investor in Arizona.

My problem is that I am not a blogger, and I am not a big news agency like the NY Times.  I am trying to find a niche in the middle of these 2 types of RSS publishers.

After countless hours of research and trial and error, I have been able to get the look I want using an RSS 1.0 example file -- I edit with MS Notebook (a simple text editor) and cut and paste from the HTML code tab in MS FrontPage.  So after getting set up and signed up using RSS 2.0, I am now in the process of changing my feed to a RSS 1.0 format.  I hate the idea of changing, but I am not willing to accept a feed without the ability to format my content.

For example, after installing the RSS 2.0 logo on every page, I am now looking for an RSS 1.0 logo to replace it.

If anyone reads this and can offer a solution, please send me an email.

Update on 12/21/05 - Late in the day yesterday, I stumbled on the solution to my dilemma. 

The first step was to download a free XML editor.  It was not the magic bullet I was hoping for, but (in hind sight) it was an important step in the right direction.  I like it, and I will be getting a lot of mileage out of this thing.

Because I kept getting this error message (root not found), the next step was to find a basic course in XML.  This was just the ticket - it only took me about 1 hour to read thru the very basic starter, and now I know what a "root" is.

With that foundation in place, I then stumbled upon:  (the solution) RSS 2.0 specs page (I have been here before)/ at the top of the section on "items" is the word examples, and it turns out example #2 is exactly what I need.  Specifically, I use:

<description><![CDATA[this is <b>bold</b>]]></description>

This allows me to format my "description" element with paragraphs, bold, hyperlinks, etc

James Esters - Colorado real estate appraiser license number AL40033702.  Appraisal fraud, appraisal report on 670 Pearl St, dated May 24th, 2006.  Stipulation and final agency order which is a discipline document issued by the Colorado Board of Real Estate Appraisers - BOREA.  Esters OPML file and  OPML tags and keywords.

Happy days are here again.  I now have the ability to generate an RSS 2.0 feed, using my handy Andy (free) XML editor, and I get to use paragraphs, links, bold text, and lots of other "hip" things.

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