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Answered

TownNews feature request: Generate an RSS/Atom feed for Apple News publishing platform

Rob Weir 5 years ago in BLOX CMS updated 5 years ago 4
Hi there, I'm trying to figure out how to create a feed from our Blox site to test with the new Apple News Publishing platform.

Essentially, the feeds the Missourian now has are formatted as a search, not really a feed per se (that is, the feed url doesn’t end in .xml or similar) — the url looks like this: feed://www.columbiamissourian.com/search/?q=&nsa=eedition&nfl=advertorial&t=article&l=20&s=start_time&sd=desc&f=rss

That works fine in the feed readers I tested it in, but for the Apple Publishing Platform feed we need an Atom or RSS feed in .xml or .rss format.

I went through Town News support and it's apparently not something that is currently generate-able there.

The Apple feed specification is here, if it's useful: https://developer.apple.com/library/prerelease/ios/documentation/General/Conceptual/News_Publishing_Guide/RSSBestPractices.html#//apple_ref/doc/uid/TP40015407-CH13-SW1

The reason we want to generate that RSS/Atom feed is to test with the Apple Publishing Platform beta. There's a roundup of the new News app in this Nieman post: http://www.niemanlab.org/2015/06/for-news-organizations-this-was-the-most-important-set-of-apple-announcements-in-years/

If others are interested, please note and it will help bump up priority.

Thanks!

Answer

+1
Answer
Answered
Hi Rob!

The search link that you referenced above (http://www.columbiamissourian.com/search/?q=&nsa=eedition&nfl=advertorial&t=article&l=20&s=start_time&sd=desc&f=rss) is still a valid RSS 2.0 feed, even though it doesn't end in an .xml. From what I can tell, Apple does not appear to require a specific extension... only a valid feed.

I personally set up another site as a News Channel on the Apple News Publisher platform, and my RSS feed was domain.com/rss (with no specific extension, though it is a valid feed) - and it appeared that it was accepted. That being said, I haven't been notified that my channel is live yet.

In other words, I think it will work if you try it. There may be additional tweaks we have to make to optimize things going forward, so let us know how it goes.

Here is some more information about generating MRSS, RSS and ATOM feeds from BLOX using search: http://docs.townnews.com/kbpublisher/How-to-Generate-RSS-ATOM-or-iATOM-feeds-from-BLOX_5941.html

And, if you want to create specific channels based on certain sections in your BLOX site (for example, a specific channel for a columnist or a sports team), here are details on how to create search queries (which can then create feeds): http://docs.townnews.com/kbpublisher/Search-Queries_5555.html

Let me know if you have more information about this, or if you've confirmed something different. It's a new thing so we're trying to stay on top of it! =)

Christine
+1
Answer
Answered
Hi Rob!

The search link that you referenced above (http://www.columbiamissourian.com/search/?q=&nsa=eedition&nfl=advertorial&t=article&l=20&s=start_time&sd=desc&f=rss) is still a valid RSS 2.0 feed, even though it doesn't end in an .xml. From what I can tell, Apple does not appear to require a specific extension... only a valid feed.

I personally set up another site as a News Channel on the Apple News Publisher platform, and my RSS feed was domain.com/rss (with no specific extension, though it is a valid feed) - and it appeared that it was accepted. That being said, I haven't been notified that my channel is live yet.

In other words, I think it will work if you try it. There may be additional tweaks we have to make to optimize things going forward, so let us know how it goes.

Here is some more information about generating MRSS, RSS and ATOM feeds from BLOX using search: http://docs.townnews.com/kbpublisher/How-to-Generate-RSS-ATOM-or-iATOM-feeds-from-BLOX_5941.html

And, if you want to create specific channels based on certain sections in your BLOX site (for example, a specific channel for a columnist or a sports team), here are details on how to create search queries (which can then create feeds): http://docs.townnews.com/kbpublisher/Search-Queries_5555.html

Let me know if you have more information about this, or if you've confirmed something different. It's a new thing so we're trying to stay on top of it! =)

Christine
OK, that worked today -- for some reason it didn't yesterday. Thanks for that! I appreciate it!