Feeds Display

Application: 
OSU Drupal 6

The Feeds Display module is an OSU module which has been conceptualized and developed by Central Web Services lead Drupal programmer.

Historically, to consume feeds, a Drupal site builder either had to use the Feed Aggregator, which has limited styling capabilities, or the site builder had to use a variety of different PHP code snippets.  The use of the various PHP code snippets often would lead to issues in updates and troubleshooting, or in the cases of custom code, it could even compromise the integrity of the Drupal site.

Using Feeds Display, an advanced author or an administrator can quickly pull in feeds from four of the most common OSU-centric sources:

  • OSU Drupal Announcements
  • OSU Event Calendar
  • University News and Communication
  • blogs @ oregonstate.edu

Each block that is generated by Feeds Display also includes an RSS icon, so your users can collect the feed straight from your block.

four enabled feeds display blocks: osu drupal 6 announcement, osu event, university news and communications feed, and blog feed

For the site builder's convenience, all blocks that are generated via this module are already pre-configured to show just on the front page, so after the feed is established, the builder just has to go in and enable the block.  For more information on block configuration please see the Blocks articles in this manual.

Read on to learn how to set up each of these different types of feeds.

Create an OSU Drupal 6 Announcement Feed

Application: 
OSU Drupal 6

To create an OSU Drupal 6 Announcement feed, just do the following:

First you will need an Announcement feed from another OSU Drupal 6 site.  You can usually tell if a site has an Announcement feed as they use the Announcement blocks created by the Announcement module.  If one exists, just click on the little orange RSS icon that appears in the top right corner.

sample announcement list and rss feed button

This will open up the feed, which in itself isn't too impressive.  What you want from here is the URL, so highlight and copy the URL by pressing Ctrl + C (PC) or Command + C (Mac).

highlighted feed url in address bar

In your Drupal site, go to Admin menu > Content management > Create content > Feed.  This will open up the Feed content submission form.

From The type of feed field, select OSU Announcements.  This will automatically populate the other fields with some default settings that you can change to customize the feed.

feed content submission form

Change the Block Title, if desired.

Paste your URL into the URL of your feed field.  Note that the only thing that really changed between the default setting and what you pasted was the presence of "recsports" in your URL.

In the Number of items to display field, adjust how many feed items you want to show.

Click the Save button.

default settings changed to custom feed information

Your completed content won't look like much.  This is normal.

completed feed content does not display any fields

Once the content has saved, you will need to go into the Blocks manager at Admin menu > Site building > Blocks.  The Feeds Display module has created and pre-configured a new block for you...now all you need to do is put it in a region.  If you're using OSU Standard, as shown in the example, you can put it in the Events or News region, which is set up to display two or more blocks in a split column display.  If you're using OSU Confident, you may, instead, choose to put your block in a sidebar.

new block moved to news feed region in block manager

Once your block has been placed in a region, don't forget to click the Save blocks button at the bottom of the page.  (For more detailed information about working with blocks, please visit the Blocks section in this manual.)

A quick visit to your front page will now show your new Announcement Feed block.

completed announcement feed block on front page

Please note that OSU Standard was used in this example and only one block has been put into the two-column display, so that block spans the entire available area.  Want to see what the two-column display looks like? Just take a look at the next article.

Create an OSU Event Feed

Application: 
OSU Drupal 6

To create an OSU Event feed, just do the following:

First you will need an available OSU Event Calendar - this calendar can be your organization's, or you can pull in another organization's calendar as well, as long as it's a publicly accessible calendar. 

sample osu event calendar

The mini-calendar is a great tool that lets you see upcoming events.  In the mini-calendar, if a date has an underline, this means there is at least one event occuring on that day.  Sometimes, the calendar that you want to use may not have any events on it.  The default feed only extends out one week from "today".  If the calendar of your choice shows no events in the mini-calendar, click on the navigation arrow in the upper right corner of the mini-calendar to scroll ahead by a month.

no events show in min-calendar so use navigation arrows to scroll ahead

day with event in following month is underlined in mini-calendar

In our example, the next event is over a month out.  If the default feed were to be used for this calendar, the calendar block would not display any events.  There is an easy way to address this, though, which we'll cover as soon as we get the basic information entered.

The first piece of basic information we need is the short name of the calendar.

All OSU calendars have the same prefix: calendar.oregonstate.edu.  Directly after that pattern is the short name of the calendar.  Copy just the short name by highlighting it and pressing Ctrl + C (PC) or Command + C (Mac).

calendar short name highlighted in browser address bar

In your Drupal site, go to Admin menu > Content management > Create content > Feed.  This will open up the Feed content submission form.

From The type of feed field, select OSU Events.  This will automatically populate the other fields with some default settings that you can change to customize the feed.

feed content submission form with osu events option selected

Change the Block Title, if desired.

In the URL of your feed field, directly after the calendar.oregonstate.edu piece of the address, enter a forward slash followed by today+some number (put an actual numerical value there..in the example we use 120).  This tells the query to look out 120 days from today.  Type another forward slash and then paste in the short name of your calendar.  An example is provided below.

In the Number of items to display field, adjust how many feed items you want to show.

Click the Save button.

calendar short name and query settings added to feed url

Your completed content won't look like much.  This is normal.

completed event feed node displays with no fields

Once the content has saved, you will need to go into the Blocks manager at Admin menu > Site building > Blocks.  The Feeds Display module has created and pre-configured a new block for you...now all you need to do is put it in a region.  If you're using OSU Standard, as shown in the example, you can put it in the Events or News region, which is set up to display two or more blocks in a split column display.  If you're using OSU Confident, you may, instead, choose to put your block in a sidebar.

new block moved to events feed region in block manager

Once your block has been placed in a region, don't forget to click the Save blocks button at the bottom of the page.  (For more detailed information about working with blocks, please visit the Blocks section in this manual.)

A quick visit to your front page will now show your new Event Feed block, which also displays some nice, fresh styling for the month, day, and year.

completed event feed block on front page

Create a University News and Research Communications News Feed

Application: 
OSU Drupal 6

University News and Research Communications, housed under OSU's University Relations and Marketing, is the primary office for media relations and campus communications at Oregon State University.  You've probably seen the efforts of their work on the OSU Home Page, through OSU Today, or in the categorized feeds that are displayed on college home pages.

Now, using Feeds Display, you can include UNRC news on your site as well, complete with thumbnail images.

To create a University News and Research Communications news feed, just do the following:

First you might want to take a look at what UNRC has to offer in terms of news categories.   You can do this by visiting their RSS Feeds page in their website.

Locate a feed of interest and click on the link.

university news and research communications rss feed distribution page

The feed doesn't look like much, and this is normal. What we're interested in is the very last part of the feed's url.  Copy that by highlighting it and pressing Ctrl + C (PC) or Command + C (Mac).

unrc feed page for food and drink tag

In your Drupal site, go to Admin menu > Content management > Create content > Feed.  This will open up the Feed content submission form.

From The type of feed field, select OSU News.  This will automatically populate the other fields with some default settings that you can change to customize the feed.

feed content submission form with osu news option selected

Change the Block Title, if desired.

In the URL of your feed field, directly after the word "feed' type a forward slash and paste the contents of your clipboard after the slash.

In the Number of items to display field, adjust how many feed items you want to show.

Click the Save button.

add unrc tag to feed

Your completed content won't look like much.  This is normal.

completed news feed node displays with no fields

Once the content has saved, you will need to go into the Blocks manager at Admin menu > Site building > Blocks.  The Feeds Display module has created and pre-configured a new block for you...now all you need to do is put it in a region.  If you're using OSU Standard, as shown in the example, you can put it in the Events or News region, which is set up to display two or more blocks in a split column display.  If you're using OSU Confident, you may, instead, choose to put your block in a sidebar.

new block moved to news feed region in block manager

Once your block has been placed in a region, don't forget to click the Save blocks button at the bottom of the page.  (For more detailed information about working with blocks, please visit the Blocks section in this manual.)

A quick visit to your front page will now show your new News Feed block, which also displays the default OSU Thumbnail seen from UNRC.

completed news feed block on front page

Create an OSU WordPress Blog Feed

Application: 
OSU Drupal 6

Central Web Services maintains a multi-site WordPress blog installation located at http://blogs.oregonstate.edu. This blog environment is extremely user friendly, allows for self-installation, and it will also easily work with your Drupal site when Feeds Display is used.

To add a feed from your blogs @ OSU blogsite, just do the following:

Type the word "feed" at the end of the address to the front page of your WordPress site.

blog name highlighted in url

The feed doesn't look like much, and this is normal. What we're interested in is the URL address itself.  Copy the address to your clipboard by pressing Ctrl + C (Windows) or Cmd + C (Mac).

In your Drupal site, go to Admin menu > Content management > Create content > Feed.  This will open up the Feed content submission form.

From The type of feed field, select OSU Wordpress.  This will automatically populate the other fields with some default settings that you can change to customize the feed.

Change the Block Title, if desired.

In the URL of your feed field, paste the contents of your clipboard over the default text in the field.

In the Number of items to display field, adjust how many feed items you want to show.

Click the Save button.

Your completed content won't look like much.  This is normal.

Once the content has saved, you will need to go into the Blocks manager at Admin menu > Site building > Blocks.  The Feeds Display module has created and pre-configured a new block for you...now all you need to do is put it in a region.  If you're using OSU Standard, you can put it in the Events or News region, which is set up to display two or more blocks in a split column display.  If you're using OSU Confident, or a custom theme you may, instead, choose to put your block in a sidebar or in the content region.

Once your block has been placed in a region, don't forget to click the Save blocks button at the bottom of the page.  (For more detailed information about working with blocks, please visit the Blocks section in this manual.)

A quick visit to your front page will now show your new WordPress block.