Taxonomy Module Quick Start

This is Aaron's Quick Start Guide to the Taxonomy Module* in RSS.

Everyday, thousands of RSS news stories are published. However, in this vast morass of news its very hard to seek out the stories on topics you're interested in, and even more difficult to find more information on those topics.

The taxonomy module tries to solve this by adding some extra information to your RSS file. It lets you classify parts of your document (items, channels) by attaching the URI of a category (or many categories) to them. Then, you can provide more information on each category so that readers can easily explore and find more on the topic.

So why not add this information? It takes only three simple steps:

First, add the taxonomy and Dublin Core namespace to the head of your document (if they're not already there):

<rdf:RDF 
  xmlns:rdf="http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#" 
  xmlns:taxo="http://purl.org/rss/1.0/modules/taxonomy/"
  xmlns:dc="http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/"
  xmlns="http://purl.org/rss/1.0/"
>

Second, for the thing (item, channel, etc.) you'd like to categorize, add a taxo:topics list. In the list, put an entry with the URI of each topic that the thing falls under.

<item rdf:about="http://news.example.org/widgets/212">
  <title>Waggling Widgets Take The Market By Storm</title>
  <!-- ... -->
  <taxo:topics>
    <rdf:Bag>
      <rdf:li rdf:resource="http://example.org/widgets/waggling" />
      <rdf:li rdf:resource="http://example.org/producs/wigglable" />
    </rdf:Bag>
  </taxo:topics>
</item>

The example above has two topics, but you can have just one, or as many as you want.

Third, add the topic itself to the bottom of your document, right underneath the items, but before the closing <rdf:RDF>.

<taxo:topic rdf:about="http://example.org/widgets/waggling">
  <!-- Have a link to a page with more information about the subject: -->
  <taxo:link rdf:resource="http://dir.example.org/Products/Widgets/Wagglable"/>
    
  <!-- Include the title of the subject and a short description: -->
  <dc:title>Wagglable Widgets</dc:title>
  <dc:description>The best source of widget links from the world's widget leader.</dc:description>
</taxo:topic>

That's it! You're done. Wasn't that easy?

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