Aggregated News and Events on Agriculture

Frequently Asked Questions

Notice: The content of this page may be outdated at places, we are enhancing the service and some functionalities may behave differently. We will soon update this page accordingly.

RSS is an XML-based format, where the site's information is described in a format that simplifies the news down to a few key elements.

RSS is sometimes called "Rich Site Summary", "RDF Site Summary", or "Really Simple Syndication".

RSS can be made available in various formats such as 0.9, 0.91, 1.0, 2.0 and Atom.

To create a RSS news channel that lists the various articles on your site or in your e-mail newsletter, you have several choices:

  • Construct it from scratch in Notepad (easy in some cases but not efficient in the long run eg. when the people working on it are not able to edit XML).
  • Prepare the feed from a stand-alone tool such as RSS Channel Editor. (example)
  • Have a software tool "scrape" the site and incorporate the most important information it finds there.
  • Exploit your Content Management System if the contents of your website are managed this way: CMSs usually have functionalities for exporting contents to RSS or your webmaster can easily write a function to read all contents and create an RSS output.

For more detailed information, read our Guidelines.

This site is part of a "Feasibility Study" on the use of web-feeds for aggregating and filtering news and events. Therefore, the site and/or its feeds may be unavailable from time-to-time.
AgriFeeds offers different feeds to syndicate its contents:

- A complete feed containing all the news/events items: the link to this feed is always available in the left menu.
- Feeds by subject: you can just browse our subject directory of news / events and in the results page for each category you will find a link to the corresponding RSS feed.
- Custom feeds: use our "Filter news" and "Filter events" links to set the filtering criteria for your custom feed: in the results page you will find a link to the corresponding RSS feed.

Besides, each time you are on a page with filtered results, a link to a "Filtered RSS feed" is always available in the left menu, below the RSS feed [full] link.

Whenever you see the link "Add to my Outlook" on AgriFeeds, it means you can save an .ics file (compatible with the format Outlook uses) containing all the events displayed on that page or filtered according the criteria you selected.

Click on that link, save the file to your computer and then import it into Outlook.

For importing into Outlook: open Outlook, open the File menu, click on "Import and export", select "Import an iCalendar file" and browse your folders to select the file you just downloaded.

Notice that double-clicking on the file will only open and import the first event!

You have several options:

- A news reader software: you can find several tools using a search engine, install one on your computer and add the URL(s) of the AgriFeeds feed(s) you are interested in. The software will allow you to manage the news items in a friendly user interface.

- An online news reader: you can find several using a search engine and many are part of the services offered by the search engines themselves (see Google Reader for example). You just need to subscribe and then you can add the URL of your AgriFeeds feed(s). Also these services allow you to manage the news items in a friendly user interface.

- An RSS widget to publish the feed on your website. If you have a blog, RSS widgets are provided by most platforms (like Wordpress or Blogger). If you have your own website, you can search for RSS widgets and you will find the code (usually javascript) to embed a feed in your website.

- An XSLT stylesheet: you can easily find on the Internet a basic stylesheet for formatting RSS and re-use it on your website. Note: Applying a stylesheet to remote feeds requires some server-side programming.

- Plain XML parsing: if you are a webmaster and can do some client-side or server-side programming, there are XML parsing functions in all programming languages.

See more information, examples and useful links in the next question.

If you are in one of the following situations, you can easily embed any RSS feed into your website without programming:

1) you have access to the source code of your website (at least the HTML pages or templates);
2) you have access to the content management system input interface of your website and you are allowed to insert javascript code;
3) you use a content management system for which RSS aggregation modules are available;
4) you use a blogging platform like Wordpress or Blogger.

The file can have any extensions (.rss, .rdf, .xml) and can be uploaded to a web server where it can be viewed and automatically checked by news aggregators such as this one.
There are two possible reasons why your feed was not accepted:
  1. It does not sufficiently cover Agriculture and its related domain areas, and/or
  2. The feed was not validated correctly by or does not contain the elements that are mandatory for AgriFeeds: read our guidelines.
More details
  1. If you submitted a feed and when you edit it you see that the URL is not saved, it means AgriFeeds did not recognize the XML file at the URL you provided as a valid feed. See if your feed appears under "Problem feeds" (in the "Monitor" section of the right menu, only visible if you are logged in).
  2. If you submitted a feed and you cannot see the items from your feed, this could mean one of the following:
    • the feed has not been approved yet: check if your feed is among the "Pending feeds" (in the "Monitor" section of the right menu, only visible if you are logged in);
    • AgriFeeds could not parse the RSS file at the URL you provided. See if your feed appears under "Problem feeds" (in the "Monitor" section of the right menu, only visible if you are logged in): in this case, read our guidelines carefully as regards accepted formats and mandatory elements.

You can use RSS validation programs, such as Feed Validator mentioned below, but they require the file to be available at a URL.

Also keep in mind that, in order for the feed to be accepted by AgriFeeds, in addition to the basic requirements of an RSS feed, the following elements/refinements are mandatory:

• (RSS) Title
• (RSS) Link
• (RSS) Description
• (RSS) pubDate

Besides, in items describing events the following additional elements/refinements are mandatory:

• (AGS) Start Date
• (AGS) End Date
• (AGS) Location City
• (AGS) Location Country
(Please submit your feed as an event feed only if it these elements are there and are in the correct format)

Not complying with the (A) requirements may result in your feed not being loaded at all.

Please read our Guidelines carefully.

Registering yourself allows us to associate multiple feeds to the same user. It will also allow us to limit spam and control the quality of the feeds submitted. Anonymous users could submit off-topic feeds or feeds containing advertisements or adult contents. Registered users are responsible for the content of the feeds they submit.
Yes. You may submit more than one news and/or event feed.
No. Users should submit only the feeds they are responsible for. Typically, a user should submit feed(s) available for his/her organization/department/project/website.
Each organization should delegate one contact person to create an account and submit and manage the feed(s). However, we will try to monitor the submission of duplicate feeds and the users concerned will be alerted.

You should select the type of feed according to the format of your feed. If your feed is a standard RSS 1.0, RSS 2.0 or Atom feed, just select the corresponding type of feed. If (and only if) your feed complies with one of the following formats, you can select the "Events" type of feed and the items in your feed will be displayed both in the general Aggregator and in the Events section, where they can be viewed in the Calendar:

Please do not submit as feeds of events feeds that do not comply with the above specifications.

Tagging can be done either at feed or at item level. Because AgriFeeds aggregates and provides filtering based on keywords assigned to items, you can improve the visibility of your news item by adding categories to the item. The best practice is to add 3-5 tags which best describe the news item. The tags are also assigned to generate the tag cloud.

Only events. Events are: - items retrieved from feeds of events, i.e. feeds using one of the following formats:

There are two possible reasons:
  • Your feed is not an event feed. Only items from feeds submitted as "event feeds" show up among the events and are viewable in the calendar. And only feeds containing XML elements from the accepted event namespaces (Event AP and RSS event: see Guidelines) can be submitted as event feeds.
  • Your feed was submitted as an event feed but does not contain the basic information about events: dates and location. See our Guidelines.
The keywords used to index the news items come from:
- the "keywords" field in the feed submission form: all items inherit the keywords assigned to their source feed;
- the and elements assigned to the items themselves in the source feed.
Therefore, the reliability of the keyword search depends on the quality of the source feeds.
Complying with the following general rules will help to offer a better service:
- Assign different keywords to different items (these elements are repeatable)
- Use a controlled vocabulary for selecting the keywords (Agrovoc recommended)
See our Guidelines for more information.
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