RSS Internal Feeds

This guide will outline the new RSS to Email feature for GatorMail.

RSS to Email is a new feature which enables the user to create campaigns which generate article content from RSS Feeds.  You are able to use External RSS Feeds, where items are generated from external data or create internal feeds which contains internal article content.

Based on article and external items published dates we will automatically populate article blocks with content from External and Internal feeds.  

RSS to Email campaigns can be static or recurring types.  If the campaign is a recurring campaign at every recur period a new email will be sent with new content generated from the feeds.  

 

RSS External Feeds

RSS External Feeds

External RSS Feeds are feeds located outside of GatorMail.  For example the BBC World news feed url is http://feeds.bbci.co.uk/news/world/rss.xml.  RSS Feeds used in campaigns in GatorMail must have items that contain published dates.  We show items based on those published dates.

External feeds can be used to populate article blocks used in emails and landing zones.

  1. To create a new external feed you need to go to “Tools
  2. RSS External Feeds”.  

You will then be navigated to the RSS External Select screen.  This page is similar to other select screens.  On the left you have a folder tree view and the right you have a grid containing your external feeds.

Add New RSS Feed

To create a new external feed you need to click on the “Add New RSS Feed” button.  You will then get some new options.

  1. URL of the feed (Required)
  2. Title (Optional)
  3. Description (Optional)

You don’t have to add a title or a description because we will auto populate them when we read the feed.   You can add a title or description if you desire and these will be used instead.  

 

Add New RSS Feed Example

Add New RSS Feed Example

For this example I am going to use the BBC World New RSS Feed.  

By entering the feed url and clicking add the feed will be read and validated.  If the feed does not meet gator requirements or cannot be read we will warn the user and log the details.  The gator requirements are still being outlined and will be included in the document at a later date.  

If the feed has been read successfully you will be navigated to the external rss feed edit screen.

 

RSS External Edit Screen

As you can see the title and the description has been auto populated from the feed.

In the external feed edit screen we have a set of options the user can edit.  

  1. RSS Feed Title - The title of the feed used to identify the feed.
  2. RSS Feed Description - Give additional detail about the feed.
  3. External Feed URL - The url of the feed.  This can be changed by clicking on the edit pencil to the right hand side of the text box.  The reason you must click to edit is because changing this url can cause campaigns not to send or the feed will be invalid.  If you do change the url we validate the feed again.
  4. Number of items read from feed - The user can change how many items read from the feed.  So for example if a feed has 50 items the maximum items we ever return will be 10.  Currently the maximum is set as 10 items the user cannot set it to be higher.
  5. Strips all unwanted HTML from the content of the feed
  6. Read More Text - This is a similar drop down found in the article setup.  In article blocks some of the templates include article links and these are usually set in the article setup individually.  But because we generate the articles dynamically from the feed the user has nocontrol over the individual article link texts.  Here you can set the read more text to be the following options. Read More >>, See this Article >>, More >>,Custom Link Text,Use title from feed item

If the user chooses “custom link text” then they will be shown a textbox where they can add custom text.  This is the same for all items generated.  

If the user chooses “User title from feed item” then the read more text will use the title from the item.  This means that all the article links will be different.

It’s really down to the user’s preferences and how they want the email and article blocks setup

  • Create Articles from Feed - If this option is checked new additional options are displayed.  Internal articles will be generated from the feed items.  We have a service that runs every day at 12am that reads the feed and generates articles from the feed items.  The user must select a folder where they want the articles generated.
  • The user can also manually generate the articles.  If no articles have ever been generated then they can select a date and time which will be used to determine when to generate items from.  If articles have already been generated then the user can manually generate articles from previous ran time.
  • If the folder they select has internal rss feeds assigned and they require approval, approval emails will be sent.  Any articles generated that are in that folder will be included in the internal rss feeds that are assigned to the folder.

Internal RSS Feeds

Internal RSS Feeds are feeds that have been created only in the GatorMail system and only contain articles created by the user.  These feeds can be used externally in external feed readers.

Internal RSS Feeds can be found in “Tools > RSS Internal Feeds”.  

The select screen is the similar to other select screens.  On the left you have a folder tree view and the right you have a grid containing your internal feeds.

When you add a new rss feed you will be shown two options.  The title of the feed and the description of the feed.  These are both required.

When a new feed has been created you will be taken to the Internal RSS Feed edit screen.

 

 

RSS Internal Edit Screen

On this page you will be shown a set of options.

  1. RSS Feed Title - The title is used to identify the internal feed.
  2. RSS Feed Description - Additional information about the internal rss feed.
  3. Is Active - Sets if the internal feed is Active.  Is the feed is not active it won’t be in use.
  4. RSS or Atom - Set the format of the feed to be either RSS 2.0 or Atom 1.0.  This is down to the user and how they want their feeds format.
  5. Limit items of the feed - The user can either set the feed to contain all published items or limit how many items they want in the feed.  If the user the selects “Include the newest:” then the maximum they can enter is 2
  6. URL Title - This essentially is name of the page where the feed is viewed.  This can be changed but it must be unique, we warn the user is it’s not unique.  This essentially the name of the page where the feed can be viewed.
  7. External Feed URL - This is the url of the feed where any person can use to view the feed.
  8. RSS Approval Group - You can set a single approval group to the RSS Feed.  This means that new article added to the internal feed will need to be approved by a user in the approval group before it is included in the feed.  RSS Approval functionality is explained in more detail later in the documentation.
  9. Assign Article Folders - Users can set which Article folders the RSS Feed to be assigned. Any article created in the selected folders will be assigned to the RSS Feed depending approval.  You can select multiple folders.

As you can see the “New Category” folder has been selected as a folder where all the articles included in that folder will be created as items in the feed.

If we view the feed we will see all the articles included in the feed.  You can view the url by clicking on the view url at the top or copy and pasting the url into a browser.

 

Articles

Articles

To determine is an article folder has internal rss feeds assigned the folder icon will change.  This is so users can easily identify if a folder has any rss feeds assigned.

To see which internal rss feeds are assigned to the folder the user can right click on the folder and select “View Assigned RSS Feeds”.

This option only appears on folders with an rss folder icon.

When selected the user will be shown a popup window which displays a grid containing the assigned rss feeds.

 

RSS Approval Groups

Any new articles that are created or moved into a folder included in an internal feed can be approved by a user before it will be included in the feed.  This is to prevent unwanted articles being included in campaigns.  

You can set up rss approval groups in the same location as Campaign Approval groups.  “Admin > Manage Approval Groups”.

On this screen you will see a new RSS Articles Accordion.  Here you can set up RSS Approval groups and add users into the approval groups.  It’s the same functionality as campaign approval groups.

To enable approval for Internal RSS Feeds, in the Internal RSS Feed setup screen you need to select an approval group.  Then any new article created into that folder will require approval before the article will be included in the feed.

If you navigate to a folder which has Internal RSS Feeds assigned a new column has been added to the article select grid.

  1. This column displays the number of feeds for the article that are awaiting approval.  If you hover over the number a tooltip is displayed showing a list of the internal rss feeds that awaiting approval.
  2. To approve the article in a feed, select the article.  You will be taken to the article edit screen.  A new tab has will be displayed, “RSS Approval”.  If you select the tab you will be shown a list of feeds awaiting approval.
  3. By clicking and expanding the feed you are able add a comment or approve the article into the feed - Only users in the approval group can approve the article.  If you are not in the approval group you can leave a comment.  By adding a comment an email will be sent to all the users in the approval group and the comment will be added showing details of the comment. 

View All Articles

View All Articles

On the article screen a new button has been added to the top tool bar.  This is an option to view all articles in every folder.

 

When selected a popup window is displayed showing a list view of all the articles.  

You sort the articles by Date Created, Folder Name and Title.

 

 

Campaign Set Up

We determine what items are displayed in emails based on their published dates.  If you have a campaign which is sent every week on Wednesday at 10:00am.  We will display new items with published dates between the last send period and the new send period.  

To set up a RSS to Email campaign you need to create a new campaign the same way as before.  A new option has been added to the “Type” drop down.  You can set the campaign to be “RSS to Email” type.

For an RSS to Email campaign you can set the campaign to be

  1. Static
  2. Static Recurring
  3. Refresh Recurring

Recurring Type

If the campaign is selected as a recurring type you are given a new set of options.

A new recurrence interval drop down has been added.  You can now set the campaign recurrence interval to be.

  • Daily
  • Weekly
  • Monthly

 

Daily

Daily

If set as daily then you can set the campaign to send out an email at a specific time of day and on selected days.  All the days are selected as default but the user can change this.

The launch date is used so the user can set the campaign to launch in the future.  If the launch date is in the past when the user tried to go to the Initiate Check Screen or try to initiate a campaign the user is warned that the campaign send date and time will be the next set day.

 

  1. So if the campaign launch date is the 1st January 205 which is in the past you will get a warning message
  2. You will also get a warning message if you have chosen a Launch date which is not a set recurring day.  For example you want a campaign to send out every Wednesday at 10:00am.  But your launch date is on Tuesday.  When you initiate you will get a warning on the campaign screen or the campaign initiate check screen

 

Weekly and Monthly

When setting up an RSS to Email campaign you will be shown additional options depending on your selected recur type.

 

RSS Campaign Settings

When setting up an RSS to Email campaign you will be shown additional options depending on your selected recur type.

  • Enable Initial Published Date - Shown on Static, Static Recurring, Refresh Recurring: By selecting this option you are setting the campaign to use an initial published date for the first send.  This means that for all the rss feeds read from the campaign will only have items returned that have published dates after the initial published date.  This gives the user more control over what items are returned for the first send.  This is for the first send only.
  • Initial Published Date - The initial published date.  Is only used is the “Enable Initial Published Date” checkbox is selected.
  • Enable Initial Number of items per feed - Shown on Static Recurring, Refresh Recurring: By selecting this option you can limit the number of items per feed returned when reading the feed.  This is only for the first send
  • Initial Number of items per feed - The initial number of items read per feed.  Only for the first send.
  • Send only when all article blocks are updated - Shown on Static Recurring, Refresh Recurring: If the user has selected this option then the campaign will send only if all the article block in the email has new content. For example you could have an email with three article blocks and each article block has a single RSS Feed assigned.  If the campaign tries to send but only two of the articles blocks has new content then the campaign will not send.  It will only send if all the article blocks contain new content.

 

Email and Landing Zone RSS Feeds assign

Internal and External feeds need to be assigned to article blocks that are attached to emails or landing zones.  This is similar to how single articles are assigned to article blocks.

  1. When an email is attached you will be shown a new option in the place of assigned articles. You can see there is a new RSS Feeds button.  When selected you will be down a popup window.
  2. Here you can assign rss feeds to different article blocks.  You can assign as many feeds as you like per article block and the feeds can be both internal and external.   This is the same for Landing Zones.  

 

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