We’ve talked for a while about adding RSS feeds all over the Walker website, not just for blogs and our calendar, but also for things like the Channel, and our programming department sites. As such, we figured it best to write a genearal script to create all of the RSS feeds so we wouldn’t have to rewrite them all of the time.
Nate looked into this and found a few other things in the process. Basically we were using the bare minimum of RSS 2.0, and as such were missing a few things to extend our RSS feed to make it better. Chief among these were PubDate and URI fields. These fields are not required, but most RSS readers use them, and thus they have been added to our feeds. Also new is the addition of HTML tags in our body copy. As such, now you should be able to see bolded and italicised words, as well as images. This helps out a lot with our calendar feed.
I also noticed, specifically on our calendar, that we weren’t adding a header link to our RSS feeds on our web sites. Safari and Firefox can use these header links to display if an RSS feed is available without a user having to put a direct link on their page (both browsers also allow you to subscribe to an RSS feed from the browser this way). You can see this feature on this post if you’re using either of these browsers. We’ve since added this to the calendar as well.
We’re also introducing our new Walker Channel RSS feed. There was the talk earlier about doing Vodcasting on the Channel site, however, we felt that a simple RSS feed with a link to the video in question was a better fit. It still gives people the opportunity to watch and be alerted to new content in the Channel, but uses your regular news reader to do so. Those interested in watching Walker content will want to check it out.