Social Media & News - Adding Feeds and Streams

Types of Feeds Discussed

No, not Fields and Streams - we're talking Social Media not fishing. First review the university guidelines on Social Media:

Do you want to show articles from WesternToday on your web page? Or maybe your latest Twitter or Facebook posts? Both of these require that the feeds or streams actually exist. For Twitter and Facebook, just go to the sites you've set up and make sure there are a few recent posts there - no point doing this if the last post is three months old. For Western's news channel, go to WesternToday and search for articles on yourself, your division, department, or college. You can also contact University Communications for help in finding a topic they are tracking that would be useful to your site.

How to add WesternToday feeds

The sidebar template works nicely for feeds. If you want the feeds on your home page, you might want to start a new sidebar template, add your existing content to the main panel, then add the feed information to the sidebar.

Create the Feed

WesternToday uses topics to classify each article they add. For a college the topic would be the full name of the college separated by hyphens. For example:

  • college-of-business-and-economics

Your feed url would then be (substitute your topic for the italics bit):

  • http://onlinefast.org/wwutoday/topics/College-of-Business-and-Economics/feed/

Test this is a browser and see if you get a list of articles. If not, contact University Communications for assistance.

Create the Feed Javascript

There are many services that help you to create a feed stream; we recommend feedroll.com . Go to their site and follow the instructions listed there:

  1. Add the URL created above in the URL section of the page.
  2. Set the other settings - we use these, but do as you like:
    • Show Channel - yes
    • Number of items to display - 8
    • show/hide = 1
    • Show author = no
    • use html = yes
    • show date = no (it shows a lengthy time field which is distracting in our opinion)
    • Time zone = feed
  3. Select Preview and see if you like what you see, otherwise change settings above
  4. Select Generate Javascript
  5. Copy Javascript (highlight whole thing and Control-C to copy)

Add the script to your page

Go to the code view of the page where you want the feed to appear and Paste in the javascript you were given in the step above. You will not see anything in the design view of Dreamweaver - save the file and view in the browser.

How to Add Twitter Feeds

  1. Log into twitter.com using any account you have sign-in access to
  2. Select Settings from the Gear symbol at the top right of your page
  3. Look at the left side of the Widgets menu item and select that
  4. On the Widgets pane at right, select Create New
  5. For username, select the Twitter stream you want to include - ours is wwuwebtech and yours should start with WWU as well (see social media naming guidelines for Western sites)
  6. Choose the other options you want, Preview at right, then select Create widget.
  7. Copy the javascript from the window at bottom right - you may have to move the scroll bar to see it.
  8. Go to the code view of your site and paste this code into your site.
  9. Save your page and go to the browser to check the display. (Dreamweaver design view cannot show you the results, you must look at the browser window.)

How to Add Facebook Activity Feed

  1. Go to the Facebook Developers site
  2. Select the Social Plugin (list at far left on facebook developer's page) that you're interested in using. Here are some notes on a couple of the better options:
    • Like Button - this plugin allows visitors to your site to post your url to their timeline
    • Activity feed - if you have a lot of posts on your facebook site you might want to share these posts on your web page. Avoid this if you're just getting started with facebook
    • Comments button - allows your users to comment on your content on facebook.
    • Explore the other options that facebook provides on your own!