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  1. #1
    Dhampyr Economica's Avatar
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    Default Any techies want to help a non-techie set up an RSS feed?

    Hi!

    Some of you may remember me. I used to post here a lot.

    I'm posting today because the MBTI site that Blackwater and I started, has taken off (we had 19,000 visits on Friday alone) which is motivating us to finally work more on developing the site and now we're looking to set up an RSS feed. We've heard RSS is good for traffic and since we're seeing a lot of direct referrals which we assume are repeat visitors who've bookmarked the page we also figure it makes sense to give people the opportunity to get updated on our latest typings once a week or so. However, we don't want to pay for RSS feed creator software, and the free RSS feed creators I've checked out only provide a URL such as http://rss.icerocket.com/xmlfeed?id=367765 whereas we want something like http://www.celebritytypes.com/feed. Finally, I've tried to make the feed manually by following these instructions but even though the page makes it sound so simple, the downloaded script readme file stumps me early on.

    Would anyone care to help me out in service of the typology cause?

  2. #2
    Just a statistic rhinosaur's Avatar
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    OK, so I downloaded the script, and am going through the readme file.

    Basically, to summarize the readme file:
    - Delete the message board HTML files and rename the RSS feed HTML files like it says.
    - Create a folder in your cgi-bin named "feeds" or whatever, and upload all the files from the zip to it.
    - Create a folder in your main directory named "feeds" or whatever, and put index.html, oldarticles.html, rss1.xml, and rss2.xml in it.

    - The next part wants you to change the permissions for various files. If your server is Unix, open up a command line utility (I recommend WinSCP), navigate to your cgi-bin/feeds directory, and type the following (not tested, you may need to fiddle with the syntax):

    chmod 755 bbs.cgi admingen.cgi
    chmod 777 messages.txt messagesold.txt sessions approve.txt adminpass.txt rss1.xml rss2.xml

    Then navigate to your main directory and type:

    chmod 777 feeds

    If your server is windows instead of unix, I think you can set permissions by right-clicking on the file in your favorite FTP program. Set permissions like the readme file says.

    - Next, open up bbs.cgi and admingen.cgi in a text editor and make the first line of each (#!/usr/bin/perl) point to your perl directory on your server.
    - Finally, make all the HTML files look nice and pretty.



    It's not super-complicated but it's going to require some extensive testing on your part to make sure that all the pieces are working together.

  3. #3
    Dhampyr Economica's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for taking the time to look at this, rhinosaur, I really appreciate it!

    Quote Originally Posted by rhinosaur View Post
    OK, so I downloaded the script, and am going through the readme file.

    Basically, to summarize the readme file:
    - Delete the message board HTML files and rename the RSS feed HTML files like it says.
    So far, so good.

    - Create a folder in your cgi-bin named "feeds" or whatever, and upload all the files from the zip to it.
    Stumbling block #1: What's my cgi-bin? (I googled it but still wasn't sure.) Is it my main directory, i.e. the one that contains celebritytypes.com/index.htm (which is currently accidentally overwritten, by the way, but that's not relevant here) and folders called philosophers, men, women in which I have the index files for those subsections?

    - Create a folder in your main directory named "feeds" or whatever, and put index.html, oldarticles.html, rss1.xml, and rss2.xml in it.
    Oh, uh, scratch the above question...

    (This reminds me of the time in school where the teacher passed out a trick competition test with 20 instructions and said the winner was the first one to do all the tasks correctly. The first task was to read all the tasks before proceeding to the second. Then came a bunch of silly tasks. I was about halfway when I became conscious of muffled laughter. Some kids had followed the instructions and seen the 20th task which said to ignore tasks 2-19. What lesson does that teach kids, I thought? :steam: - Now I know! )

    So, uh, what's my cgi-bin?

    ... Would this be a good time to mention that we're so non-techy that our site is just a couple of html files?

    - The next part wants you to change the permissions for various files. If your server is Unix, (...)
    If your server is windows instead of unix
    How do I know what my server is?

    (Update: Athenian told me to ask my hosting company. I did, and it's Unix.)

    - Finally, make all the HTML files look nice and pretty.
    Now that I can do!

    (No jokes after viewing the site, please. )
    Last edited by Economica; 01-21-2011 at 09:53 AM.

  4. #4
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Economica View Post
    How do I know what my server is?
    Well, is it provided by a hosting company, or do you own the physical server? If you own the physical server, your tech admin should know. If you don't, it should be somewhere in the bills/statements you've received from your service provider. Ask whoever gets those, or whoever signed up for the webspace. If you can't find it for some reason, ask the service provider's tech support via e-mail.

    Anyway, nice to see you again! Sorry you can't stay.

    By the way... would you mind trying to figure out Julian Assange's type? I'm very curious.

  5. #5
    Dhampyr Economica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    Well, is it provided by a hosting company, or do you own the physical server? If you own the physical server, your tech admin should know. If you don't, it should be somewhere in the bills/statements you've received from your service provider. Ask whoever gets those, or whoever signed up for the webspace. If you can't find it for some reason, ask the service provider's tech support via e-mail.
    It is provided by a hosting company. We just signed up for a domain, got the account information, and started uploading HTML files via FTP. A programmer colleague of mine has offered to create a Facebook application for the site, and a roommate of mine (since I posted here last, I've moved from my apartment to a room in a house shared with five, count 'em, five Feelers! ) who works with CMS has helped make a template so we can easily split up the site into subsites (/philosophers, /politicians, /actresses, etc.) and also is going to help us streamline the layout with CSS (our current code is abysmal in that respect). Uh, thinking out loud here. Where were we? Oh yes. I've now written to our hosting company to inquire about Unix vs. Windows.

    Anyway, nice to see you again! Sorry you can't stay.
    Nice to be back!

    (What's with the site's baby colors? )

    By the way... would you mind trying to figure out Julian Assange's type? I'm very curious.
    Sure!

  6. #6
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Economica View Post
    Hi!

    Some of you may remember me. I used to post here a lot.
    Yeah I remember you.

    Looks like your site has come quite a long way (especially the philosopher's section). Good luck to you. I hope you continue to prosper.
    My wife and I made a game to teach kids about nutrition. Please try our game and vote for us to win. (Voting period: July 14 - August 14)
    http://www.revoltingvegetables.com

  7. #7
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Economica View Post
    It is provided by a hosting company. We just signed up for a domain, got the account information, and started uploading HTML files via FTP. A programmer colleague of mine has offered to create a Facebook application for the site, and a roommate of mine (since I posted here last, I've moved from my apartment to a room in a house shared with five, count 'em, five Feelers! ) who works with CMS has helped make a template so we can easily split up the site into subsites (/philosophers, /politicians, /actresses, etc.) and also is going to help us streamline the layout with CSS (our current code is abysmal in that respect). Uh, thinking out loud here. Where were we? Oh yes. I've now written to our hosting company to inquire about Unix vs. Windows.
    That's exactly what you need to do.

    Wow, living with five people? Hopefully they're not all extraverts!

    CMS is VERY important in managing a website... incidentally, I ended up being asked to manage someone else's website, and while I understood CSS and HTML... updating it was a nightmare. I had to edit the raw HTML by hand every time (and each individual page, unless I was changing the CSS template), which meant he had to call me over every time he wanted something changed. He didn't know any HTML. He paid me $20 to do this for about four months, but eventually decided to shut down the site, and felt bad about forcing me to do all that work.

    I later learned that if I had set up a content management system, I wouldn't have had to edit HTML files by hand for every update. And he probably wouldn't have needed me to do every update, either. We were basically running the site like it was the late 90's or early 2000's.
    (What's with the site's baby colors? )
    It's a new theme that's been adopted because we switched to vBulletin 4. But we're not liking the new version all that much.
    Sure!
    Great! I'm a fan of his ideals. Not many people seem interested in talking about him, though.

  8. #8
    Dhampyr Economica's Avatar
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    Hit and run update:

    Candy: My name is Candy. How may I assist you?
    you: hi, i'm non-technical and trying to set up an RSS feed. how do i access my cgi-bin?
    Candy: Hello there.
    you: hi
    Candy: cgi-bin is not really supported
    Candy: So you cannot make use of it.
    you: ok? how do i go about setting up an RSS feed then, do you know?
    Candy: Are you setting it up in [our tool for making webpages]?
    you: no
    you: i am following instructions from a script i downloaded the readme file for which a technical friend is helping me follow
    you: the instructions amount to:
    you: - Create a folder in your cgi-bin named "feeds" or whatever, and upload all the files from the zip to it. - Create a folder in your main directory named "feeds" or whatever, and put index.html, oldarticles.html, rss1.xml, and rss2.xml in it. - The next part wants you to change the permissions for various files. If your server is Unix, open up a command line utility (I recommend WinSCP), navigate to your cgi-bin/feeds directory, and type the following (not tested, you may need to fiddle with the syntax): chmod 755 bbs.cgi admingen.cgi chmod 777 messages.txt messagesold.txt sessions approve.txt adminpass.txt rss1.xml rss2.xml Then navigate to your main directory and type: chmod 777 feeds
    Candy: You are welcome!
    Candy: Sorry
    Candy: I'll be with you in just a moment. Thanks for waiting.
    you: no problem
    you: how long will that moment be?
    Candy: Hi
    Candy: Reading
    you: good to know, thanks
    Candy: Okay, that one is not possible as it requires you to place them under cgi-folder
    you: ok. how might i go about setting up an RSS feed then?
    Candy: There are other RSS feeds that do not require you to create cgi-bin
    you: can you direct me to one (that is free)?
    you: (and which results in a URL such as mydomain.com/feed and not some obscure URL)
    Candy: Let me check online.
    you: thank you! i have googled, but as a non-technical person i feel a bit lost.
    you: i figure you might know which RSS feeds other customers are using
    Candy: The second one, that I am not sure how that's done
    you: don't you have other customers who have RSS feeds set up like that on their own domain?
    Candy: They might do but haven't encountered one yet like this.
    Candy: And I do not have sample for you for an existing customer too
    you: sorry, that last part i do not understand?
    Candy: I do not have sample rss feeds from our existing customers.
    you: ok. does this mean the support cannot help me? or can you ask someone else who might be able to help?
    Candy: This is not really our support now, you should search for one. But let me check Google for you
    Candy: Please hold on while I check
    you: thank you, i will hold on
    Candy: I will give you links and you can review them.
    Candy: I am not sure if they require cgi
    Candy: http://www.labnol.org/internet/creat...websites/5470/
    Candy: http://www.rapidfeeds.com/
    Candy: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-...-from-scratch/
    Candy: Check them please.
    you: thank you!
    Candy: You are welcome!
    Candy: Is there anything else I could assist you with?
    you: sorry, i got distracted
    you: no, at least not now. thank you, i'll check out the links.

  9. #9
    Just a statistic rhinosaur's Avatar
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    I think it is possible to have the RSS feed without the script. If I understand correctly, that script only exists as a way to simplify the code generation and post management, and to update your content on-the-fly. So without the script you can still have an RSS feed, but you will need to edit your RSS XML file manually every time you make a new post, and you will need to archive old posts manually. (Or using a script on your own machine.)

  10. #10
    Just a statistic rhinosaur's Avatar
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    Try copying this and saving as rss2.xml in your ./feeds/ directory. Change the fields as necessary. This is straight from Wikipedia. Then open it up in a RSS feed reader and let me know what you see.

    Code:
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
    <rss version="2.0">
    <channel>
    	<title>RSS Title</title>
    	<description>This is an example of an RSS feed</description>
    	<link>http://www.someexamplerssdomain.com/main.html</link>
    	<lastBuildDate>Mon, 06 Sep 2010 00:01:00 +0000 </lastBuildDate>
    	<pubDate>Mon, 06 Sep 2009 16:45:00 +0000 </pubDate>
     
    	<item>
    		<title>Example entry</title>
    		<description>Here is some text containing an interesting description of the thing to be described.</description>
    		<link>http://www.wikipedia.org/</link>
    		<guid>unique string per item</guid>
    		<pubDate>Mon, 06 Sep 2009 16:45:00 +0000 </pubDate>
    	</item>
     
    </channel>
    </rss>

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