Feeds in Mercury

Feeds in Mercury afrank30 Tue, 08/04/2015 - 16:45
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What is a Feed?

A feed is a list of content items from Mercury. Feeds let you organize any content from Mercury — your own and others' — and then display it on other web sites. The two most common types of content you will find in feeds are events and news.

Manual versus Automated Feeds

Content can be organized into two types of feeds in Mercury:

  • As an arbitrary Manual Feed, where you have complete control but must make every change yourself
  • Via a selection of rules in an Automated Feed that you set up once and don't have to touch again (unless you want to adjust those rules)

Examples of Automated Feed Usage

Commonly, people use relative dates, limit them to just one type of content (such as events only), and then connect these to hg_reader blocks and pages on their web site.

However, you can also use these to find related content, without connecting the feed to a website (thanks to Kathleen Moore for this idea!). For example, you could make an automated feed that helps you curate content you might add to a manual feed. It could search by keywords, or show content from other people's groups.

Examples of Manual Feed Usage

Commonly, people use this to control which news stories or events show up on the homepage of their website.

The only drawback to a manual feed is that nothing is added or removed from them, without someone's intervention.

Feed Readers

Readers allow your web site to pull in the feeds you create and display them on your site. Georgia Tech's Institute Communications offers a Drupal module, HG Reader, for getting this set up.

Feed Item Limits

As of the September/October 2017 Mercury refresh, all feeds can now contain a maximum of 200 items.

  • For an automated feed, any items beyond 200 items will not be displayed.  
  • For a manual feed, any new items beyond 200 will not be added.

Mercury Feeds Sub-Topics

Finding the ID for a Feed in Mercury

Finding the ID for a Feed in Mercury
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afrank30 Thu, 07/16/2015 - 12:03
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In Mercury, a feed ID is a five- or six-digit number that uniquely identifies a single feed (or list) within Mercury.

A feed ID is different from the ID for an individual news or event item.  Make certain you are getting an actual feed ID and not the ID for a single item within that feed.

Where to Find the Feed ID

First, you need to find a feed. Navigate into one of the groups you belong to in Mercury, and search the middle of the page for the "Group Feeds" section. Underneath it are listed any feeds already created for your group.

Select the Title of one of your fields listed in this table (for example, "Events: GT - Past 1 and future 6 months"). This takes you to the page for that feed.

The feed ID is the number shown in the URL (web address), after the phrase "node/", when viewing a feed in Mercury. For example, in the URL http://hg.gatech.edu/node/416041, the feed ID is "416041".

Using Another Group's Feed

If you want to use a feed from another group, all you need is this ID number and you can use that feed on your site, too! You are not required to have a Mercury account to include feeds on your site. If you do not have an account and wish to display an existing feed, contact the administrator of that group to get the feed ID number.

Creating an Automated Feed in Mercury

Creating an Automated Feed in Mercury afrank30 Tue, 12/30/2014 - 14:11
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Getting Started

  1. Log in to Mercury (at http://hg.gatech.edu).
  2. Select the link for your group (example: "Office of Something Awesome") in the column on the right side of the screen.
  3. Select the green Create automated link in the Feeds section of the left column.

Rule of Thumb

Tailor your feed output (using the options under Show items where...) to the smallest set necessary for your needs.  The more items you include, the harder Mercury has to work to assemble your feed, and the slower your website will get each time it connects to Mercury to get an update of your feed.

Consider limiting any archive feeds to no more than two years worth of news or events.  Chances are good that no one is really going to want to wade through anything more than that on your website.  If your unit's leadership wants to highlight specific news or events from an earlier time, just create a static "Historic Highlights" page and post the relevant information to that page so that interested site visitors can easily find it.

Create Your Feed Filter

NOTE: The filtering tools changed significantly after the September / October 2017 Mercury refresh.

  • For Item type is any of..., chose only those items types that you need.  A good practice is to create only single-type feeds (i.e. one feed for news, and a second feed for events).
  • For Group, choose the name of your group.  Otherwise, you'll be pulling items from every group in Mercury, which is never a good idea.
  • To limit items based on dates, use:
    • Event start for an events feeds
    • News dateline for a news feed
    Next, select a filter type:
    • after
    • on or after
    • before
    • on or before
    • between
    Next, enter your actual filter.  Below are some examples of commonly used filters:
    • now - the exact moment that the feed is being assembled
    • 2 months ago
    • 3 years ago
    • 2017-05-15 - A specific date in year-month-day format
    • For more possible date formats, please see the PHP Guide to Relative Date Formats
    As an example, 'News dateline' 'after' '1 year ago' will give you a feed of all news from the past year.

At any time, you can select APPLY FILTERS to see what Mercury items you get.  If you don't get anything, then either you set up a rule wrong, or there just isn't any content yet that matches those rules.  (It's always helpful to have a least one item in the system that matches the feed you are creating, just to act as a sanity check that you have your filter rules entered correctly.)

Feed Item Limits

As of the September/October 2017 Mercury refresh, all feeds can now contain a maximum of 200 items.

  • For an automated feed, any items beyond 200 items will not be displayed.  
  • For a manual feed, any new items beyond 200 will not be added.

    Creating a Manual Feed in Mercury

    Creating a Manual Feed in Mercury dgivens8 Fri, 09/23/2016 - 17:26
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    A manual feed is a feed which all items are pre-selected/approved. For more information, see the documentation on automated versus manual feeds.

    Getting Started

    1. Log in to Mercury (at http://hg.gatech.edu).
    2. Select the link for your group (example: "Office of Something Awesome") in the column on the right side of the screen.
    3. Select the green Create manual link in the Feeds section of the left column.

    Name Your Feed

    Title the feed something descriptive that will allow you and others to identify it through a search.

    Create Your Feed Filter

    NOTE: The filtering tools changed significantly after the September / October 2017 Mercury refresh.

    A feed filter for a Manual Feed is strictly to help you find content to add to your feed.  It will have no effect on your actual feed.

    The filter rule that appears by default is “Item type.” Once you’ve selected a type, you can then use the “Add a rule” drop-down menu to add additional filter rules such as “Core research area” or “Keyword.”

    Once you’ve finished adding the desired filtering rules, select the Apply Filters button and you’ll see the available news items below.

    Move Content Into the Feed

    The list of news items you’ve filtered out now appears on the left side of the screen under your filters. Once you’ve looked through the available items and picked the news titles you want to appear in your feed, drag them to the “Feed items” box on the right side of the screen.

    Don't forget to Save your changes before navigating off to another page.