The Scoop on Feeds

A feed is the data format used to deliver frequently updated content, such as your blog entries. You may have seen websites with links or references to labels such as RSS, Atom, or XML. These are essentially assorted flavors of the same thing, a way you can get site updates without having to actually visit the site.
  • RSS stands for a few different things, different people has different definitions. Recent definitions claim that it stands for Really Simple Syndication. RSS is the most commonly used term you will find for feeds, as its primary job is to deliver regularly updated content such as blogs and podcasts.
  • Atom is just another type of feed, for all intents and purposes. Atom has some technical goodies that make it slightly different to those who program such things, but for your purpose, it is just a matter of preference and what the site you are reading chooses to publish.
  • XML is not, technically a feed at all, but the technology used to create the feeds. However, due to some misconceptions, it is most often used to reference a feed, just like RSS and Atom. You may sometimes see icons or links for XML along with RSS or Atom.

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