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Using RSS and iCal Feeds

RSS and iCal - what are these?

This is a way for families to receive updates from the website, news "feeds", and additions to their electronic Calendars automatically, NOT via email.  

So rather than sending email messages to relay content that is also posted to the website, we are encouraging our families to go to the Website, and/or utilize technology to have the information "fed" to them.

NGIN events and News Articles support RSS.  NGIN Calendar Events also support iCal.


iCal - What is this?

Many of us utilize electronic calendars, on our computers and/or smartphones.  Most of these calendaring applications support the automatic updates from "iCal" feeds.  So rather than manually adding practices and games to your calendar, utilize technology to do that for you. 

iCalendar is a standard for calendar data exchange. The standard is sometimes referred to as "iCal", which also is the name of the Apple, Inc. calendar program that provides one of the implementations of the standard.

Here is a link to one of the NGIN support Articles on iCal:

Although this is by no means an exhaustive list of iCal applications and resources, it should give you a starting point in your research:

Mac OS X iCal, Outlook 2007 How to article on adding an iCal Feed to Outlook 2007,Google Mail

RSS - What is this?

This is a way for families to receive updates from the website, news "feed", automatically, NOT via email.   NGIN events and News Articles support RSS. 

"RSS feed can have the same content as a webpage, but it's often formatted differently. When you subscribe, Internet Explorer automatically checks the website and downloads new content so you can see what is new since you last visited the feed."

The acronym RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, and is used to describe the technology used in creating feeds.

Here is a link to the NGIN support article on RSS feeds:

An RSS Feed Reader is required, but they are free and easy to use.  NGIN recommends the following RSS Feed Readers:

Google Reader (web-based), Bloglines (web-based), NewsGator (desktop, web and mobile), Shrook (desktop mac)

Google Calendar Users - PLEASE READ!!

There may be issues with updates to your Team Calendar, i.e. Practice time Changed, Canceled, that may take some time (days?) to update your Google Calendar through the ical feed. 

This is a Google Issue, NOT NGIN issue we wanted to make you aware of...

From NGIN Support:
"Google has a known caching issue where they are not refreshing their feeds in a timely manner. This directly relates to events not displaying correctly/succinctly in the Google Calendar interface and unfortunately we have no control over this behavior. Google is aware of this issue as it's been going on for quite some time. The problem also seems to happen between feeds originating from the exact same website on our platform (one team works while another does not). Typically in this case there is an event within one of the feeds that Google is unable to process due to their current platform issues.
A possible workaround to Google's current caching issue is to append some random string to the end of the feed to 'trick' Google into thinking it's a new feed. By doing this, it will load a new copy of the feed. Example, append& 1=1 to the end of the current feed.
If this doesn't work or you continue to experience issues using Google Calendar, I would recommend using a more reliable application such as Outlook 2007+ for Windows or iCal for Mac OS X to consume the feed, or you would need to contact Google directly for further troubleshooting.

See also Known Google Calendar Issues posted here:

We are looking into ways on our end to try and workaround their current platform issues as well."