What is a Feed?


This entry is specially for Abhi, and for others who do not know what a feed means and how it can be used. In the simplest terms, it is only used to get updates. What this means? Let’s say you love a particular web site and want to read what latest stuff has been published (only if the platform used supports feeds). A feed will allow you to have these latest contents directly without going to the URL. That means, you can have a common pool where you have all the updates of your favourite sites to “feed” on. The feeds can be in two formats Atom and RSS…

Atom? Atom is not an acronym as it is the case for RSS. The Atom protocol is becoming an standard nowadays due to the many incompatibilities of RSS. Currently there exist Atom 0.3 and Atom 1.0. You might be asking what 0.3 and 1.0 mean. As always versions and the highest the number the latest version. Latest means updated and more efficient normally. Google is using it for its numerous services like Gmail, Google News and Blogger. After reading here and there I am personally convinced that an Atom feed is far better than RSS.

RSS? RSS is the acronym of Really Simple Syndication. It was conceived and developed as early as 1995. There have been numerous versions that have never had success. Here is a

  • RSS 2.0 – Really Simple Syndication
  • RDF Site Summary (RSS 1.0 and RSS 0.9)
  • Rich Site Summary (RSS 0.91)

RSS 2.0 is recommended one if you stumble through a web site with feed options.

Why should we use feeds? Feeds do not compromise with your privacy. We do not need to use our email address to subscribe to a feed. It only takes a click on an URL to have contents delivered home. Next, unsubscribing is easy. You only need to delete the URL. That’s all. Oh, feed aggregators you said? There must be “delete feed or unsubscribe button” somewhere. And finally feeds are rather organised. Every item belong to their respective feed.

How can I read the feeds? It up to the users’ preference. Some will use web based feed readers like Google Feed Reader and BlogLines others have the feeds in their browser itself, Firefox. Internet Explorer 7.0 and Safari supports this feature. Other will just stick with desktop feed readers like NewsGator,FeedDemon and Outlook 2007.

How will I know a feed is present in the website? You may find, the below icon on the page. This will normally make you subscribe to the feed.

Feed Icon


In your Firefox Address Bar you will find the the tiny version of the above feed icon (see below). By clicking on it, you can subscribe to the feed.


Or simply search for “Subscribe Now!!” or any such variations.

What’s next now? Yesh, subscribe to our feed and keep visiting. πŸ˜› Till then, I will burn my feed again at feedburner, now making it become Atom. πŸ˜‰

Categories: Randomness, Reviews
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  • 1st thing i wanna say is that i’m ****** at having to login to comment – i bet 90% of people will never register. I had already decided not to register, but then there was this Feed problem.

    I just can’t subscribe to your Feed using Google Reader! :S
    It works with BlogLines, with Thunderbird, with Firefox… but not with Google Reader! :S

  • InF

    Am sorry.. πŸ˜›

    I disabled that, so now, anybody can post comments, without the need to register. Thanks! πŸ˜›

    I’ve not tested with Google Reader but the feed works in Firefox. Maybe something wrong with Feedburner. That’s Neel’s domain. He config’d feed, so he solves this! πŸ™‚

  • Feed working perfectly! πŸ˜€

  • There is no way it is not working. I Tried it in my google reader. πŸ˜›

  • InF

    Lolz! Good to hear that the problem got solved! πŸ˜›

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