What is RSS / Atom? - HashOut
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What is RSS / Atom?

RSS, short for "really simple syndication," and Atom are a family of web feed formats used to keep tabs on what your favorite Web sites or blogs are publishing.

Users of digital content 'subscribe' to a feed by supplying a link to the (RSS / Atom) feed to programs called feed 'readers' or 'aggregators'; the program then checks the user's subscribed feeds to see if any of those feeds have new content since the last time it checked, and if so, retrieve that content and present it to the user. The advantage? Instead of wasting time refreshing your countless bookmarked Web sites and blogs, new content on those sites comes directly to you.

The initials "RSS" are variously used to refer to the following standards:
  • Really Simple Syndication (RSS 2.0)
  • Rich Site Summary (RSS 0.91, RSS 1.0)
  • RDF Site Summary (RSS 0.9 and 1.0)
The development of Atom was motivated by the existence of many incompatible versions of the RSS syndication format, all of which had shortcomings.


For more information on RSS, visit WhatisRSS.com

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