The Commons Wiki has been upgraded to a more modern version of MediaWiki (1.15.4), and this lets us do some cool things that were previously not possible. External feeds can now be drawn into wiki pages dynamically and wiki content can be fed out to Web pages, RSS Readers and other wiki pages.
I’ve been playing around with our Wiki’s new RSS functionality, and have begun including some feeds in the right sidebars of Wiki Wrangler.
Haven’t had the time to fully explore all this, but I know these new extensions will help in the new Wiki home page redesign, spearheaded by Chris Stein (@cstein). Dynamic content will soon come to the Wiki home page in the form of popular wiki pages, featured wiki pages, wiki resource pages, recently changed wiki pages… The possibilities have multiplied with this upgrade.
Below is some how-to documentation I wrote, posted on the wiki.
(from a Commons Wiki page)
What's an RSS Feed?
Not sure what RSS Feeds are? Check out this link for more information. RSS is short for Really Simple Syndication. RSS feeds are common (among many other places) on the sidebars of websites. If you like a blog or website or a newspaper column and want to know when the next post occurs, you may subscribe to its RSS Feed (if available). RSS feeds let you know when content changes and help control the way your news is presented.
How to Create an RSS Feed on the Commons Wiki
Follow these instructions to create an RSS feed on the Commons Wiki:
- Identify the pages you want to include in your feed.
- Add them to the “News” category.
- Ideally, add them to another, unique category all your own, so that you can control what you feed out.
- Go to “Special Pages.” (It's under the Wiki's Toolbox Tab, on the right sidebar.)
- Scroll down to NewsChannel and click on it. It's at the very bottom of the page. Attached below is a snapshot of the screen you should see.
- Boolean logic applies here. When you add another category, it means that the wiki page needs to be in both categories. If add an exclude category, the article will not be in the feed if it is in that exclude category.
- When you are done, click on create a feed. You should see something like the following screen. (Your content will be under "Commons Wiki News.")
- From here you can simply subscribe to the feed using an RSS Reader. There are many RSS Readers. This link rates them.
- Or, you can go the the top of your browser and copy the url. You can use this url to add the feed to your blog, website, or to a Commons Wiki page.
How to Display an RSS Feed on the Commons Wiki
You can now add RSS feeds to your Wiki pages! They can be feeds from the Commons Wiki or from anywhere else. Follow these simple instructions.
- Copy the feed url
- Edit the wiki page where you want the feed to appear
- Enter <rss>
- Paste in the url
- Enter </rss>
And you are ready to go. There are a number of parameters which you may want to use which control how the articles are presented. This is described by the author of the extension here. (See the section called "The rss tag.") You can even enclose 2 or 3 urls within the rss tags (separated by a "|") and they will be displayed in columns.