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RSS Feeds For Dummies
Get up to speed on RSS technology. Recommended for ordinary folks and web site operators that want to plug and play with our RSS services.

Syndicated Content

Growth House offers more syndicated content for end-of-life care than anybody else on the Internet. To brainstorm ways your web site can import and export content with us give us a call at 415-863-3045.

Growth House has over 4,000 pages of high-quality syndicated full-text education content on end-of-life care provided by over forty collaborating IICN member organizations. You can integrate complete online tutorials and even the full text of authoritative books directly on your own web site. Just cut and paste a few lines of HTML code.

Growth House Blogs You can carry several syndicated columnists specializing in end-of-life issues by subscribing to individual blog feeds. Learn more...

Growth House Radio delivers podcasts and downloadable audio files Play current programthat you can re-use any way you want to, so long as you give credit to Growth House. Learn more...

Content Syndication FAQ

Are you clueless what we're taling about? It's OK! Buzzwords like RSS, XML, and content syndication are new to many people, so don't stress about it.

What is content syndication?

Content syndication is a general term for the idea that content on the Internet can be shared among multiple web sites. Content producers can make their information available in ways that other web sites can import directly and feature as part of their own offerings. There are many different ways to do content syndication. The content may be shown to readers at many places but it's always clearly identified as coming from some original source.

Where does your content come from?

We have over 4,000 pages of high-quality full-text education content on end-of-life care provided by over thirty collaborating members of the IICN content syndicate. Our affiliated content producers include major universities, national healthcare quality improvement organizations, book publishers, and other providers of quality educational materials. Our content libraries include HTML and XML pages, multimedia content such as streaming audio and video, and lots of downloadable files in PDF, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft PowerPoint formats.

Is content syndication the same as making a link?

No. When you make a link you transfer the user from your web site to some other web site. When you participate in content syndication you pull content from some other web site directly into your own web site, so it looks like the content is located on your web site. Credit is given to the source of the content, but the viewer stays on your web site while they read the content, unless they choose to go directly from you to the content producer site.

What are the benefits of content syndication?

For content producers, syndication enables much larger readership for your content, plus increased traffic to your site from your affiliated content receiving sites. For content receivers, it enables your web site carry a huge amount of great content from respected sources, often at no cost.

What is RSS?

An RSS news feed is designed to provide time-sensitive headlines and summaries of content with links to more detail elsewhere. RSS is an XML specification that web sites can use to distribute and aggregate Web content. This lets web sites work together to share content between sites and directly with end users. RSS is an acronym for Rich Site Summary, but some people call it Really Simple Syndication. RSS news feed files are collections of short items featuring headlines and brief summaries of content that can be read in more detail somewhere else on the Internet if the person wants the details. There are several different versions of the RSS specification and support for some RSS features is not yet fully standardized. We use the RSS 2.0 specification. That is the most current version of the RSS standard, now used by Microsoft, Yahoo, and other major players. RSS is specified as a type of XML service. Because RSS is a flavor of XML, all RSS files also must conform to the XML 1.0 specification, available at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) website.

How do I use RSS?

RSS XML files are read by a special type of software that may be called an RSS news reader, news aggregator, or Weblog utility. If you have an RSS news reader or Weblog utility program, to add the Growth House News Feed to your subscriptions you just paste a link into your subscription feed list. When the content of that feed changes, your software will let you know. This use of an RSS feed gives you an alternative to electronic mail to receive updates from information providers you select. We predict that in the near future reading your RSS news feeds will become as much a part of your daily ritual as reading your email. If you operate a web site you can display an RSS feed as HTML content on your own pages, giving you access to co-branded features from many sources.

Can I control how an RSS feed looks when I display it on my own web site?

Yes. Since RSS is based on XML, the way it looks when you use it on your web site is up to you.

Is RSS subject to SPAM the same way email is?

No. So far no one has found a way to send unsolicitied spam via RSS. That's one of the reasons why some people think that RSS is superior to email for things like newsletters. With RSS you never give your email address to the web site you want to receive information from, so the sender has no way to easily identify you. If you decide you don't want to receive an RSS feed any more, you just remove it from your news reader, and that's the end of it. You don't need to contact a web site or have someone else get you off a list. RSS also solves problems that publishers have with putting out email newsletters. With RSS there are no bounces, no list management headaches, no unsubscribe requests, and no delivery failures due to "false positive" spam filters that block legitimate subscriptions by accident.

Terms of Use

Growth House provides several different content syndication formats designed to meet a wide range of business needs. We encourage you to call us to discuss your specific situation so we can help you select the most appropriate technology for your requirements. Here is a summary of the terms of use for each of our major services.

Feed TypeTerms
RSS feed for this siteAll XML RSS feeds that you find on public areas of our web site -- identified by the orange XML icon -- are provided free of charge for use by individuals and non-profit organizations for personal, educational, or non-commercial uses. We ask that you provide attribution to Growth House in connection with your use of our feeds. If you provide this attribution in text, please use: "Growth House, Inc." If you provide this attribution with a graphic, please use the Growth House logo image that will be included in the XML feed itself. We reserve all rights in and to the Growth House logo, and your right to use the Growth House logo is limited to providing attribution in connection with these RSS feeds. Growth House reserves the right to require you to cease using or distributing these feeds at any time for any reason. Growth House reserves the right to discontinue distribution of these feeds at any time for any reason.
IICN MegaSearch

The IICN MegaSearch service goes beyond the headlines of an RSS news feed by enabling you to integrate complete online tutorials and even the full text of authoritative books directly on your own web site. The IICN MegaSearch service is a complete search service that gives you direct access to all of our syndicated HTML content through a single interface. The IICN MegaSearch includes the Growth House Search Engine as one of its features.

To use the IICN MegaSearch you simply install a frameset on your site and remotely call up the IICN MegaSearch page to target it within a frame. The remotely-managed IICN MegaSearch page will always be up to date, including the most complete version of our syndicated features. Our HTML exports are based on Content Interchange Format, a presentation-layer format for inter-site HTML displays. Our CIF standards ensure that HTML content will render clearly within a wide range of frameset designs.

The URL for the IICN MegaSearch service is:

http://www.growthhouse.org/educate/flash/index.html

Please do not put a copy of that page on your own server -- you must use the remote page at Growth House in order to have the most current information available at all times. Please do not link to individual content features directly; use that main page URL only.

We recommend that you implement our syndicated content modules by embedding them within iframes because that keeps your user on your own site while they view remote content. If your site does not allow the use of iframes you can use a popup window (using either Javascript or a "new window" HTML anchor) or simply by linking to the module you want to feature.

About Javascript popupsSome pages have been assigned special URLs that are intended for syndicated use. These syndicated URLs (pages) are specifically designed for use on multiple web sites. The format of these pages is designed to display clearly regardless of window size. Try a demo now using our simplest method, which delivers the IICN MegaSearch to you through a Javascript popup window [click link to test it] that can be installed on any web site in minutes with just a few lines of HTML code.

The IICN MegaSearch is provided free of charge for use by individuals and non-profit organizations for personal, educational, or non-commercial uses. We ask that you provide attribution to Growth House in connection with your use of this service. If you provide this attribution in text, please use: "Growth House, Inc." If you provide this attribution with a graphic, please use the IICN MegaSearch logo image. We reserve all rights in and to the IICN MegaSearch logo, and your right to use the IICN MegaSearch logo is limited to providing attribution in connection with the IICN MegaSearch. Growth House reserves the right to require you to cease distributing this service at any time for any reason. Growth House reserves the right to discontinue distribution of this service at any time for any reason.

Growth House Blogs The Growth House Blogging Portal gives you access to syndicated bloggers who cover many aspects of end-of-life care. You can subscribe to any of our bloggers by using the XML/RDF feed links on each blog page. There is no charge for any of this content but you must disclose the actual source of any syndicated content you use, with a link back to the portal address, which is http://growthhouse.typepad.com
Growth House Radio

Growth House Radio delivers podcasts and downloadable audio files Play current program that you can re-use any way you want to, so long as you credit Growth House, Inc., as the source and provide a link back to the Growth House web site at http://www.growthhouse.org as part of your re-use.

Licensed content

Some content features are subject to licensing agreements with the original content providers; in these cases you may need to pay a fee or sign a usage agreement before using their material. Call us to discuss specific usage requests.

Technical Services

In addition to our educational services, Growth House, Inc. is also a full-service technical consulting firm specializing in end-of-life care. As the leading Internet service in the field of end-of-life care we have developed unique content management systems that help other organizations develop and deploy web-based educational materials. Our Content Interchange Format (CIF), is a technical standard that enables multiple institutions to develop redistributable content modules which "plug and play" with one another to create web-enabled learning systems. If you are developing educational content for the web, this standard can increase your audience and lower your costs significantly.