What Are Syndication Feeds
By Shelley Powers
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: January 2006

When you enter the world of syndicated content, you're often faced with the question of what is the "proper" way to do syndication. While syndication feeds have become a standard tool on the Web--you've seen their signposts: a little orange button labeled XML in white letters, or maybe buttons that say Atom, RSS 2.0, RSS 1.0, or even Feed--it is important that your syndication feed be an extension of your site. It should reflect your interests, your concerns, and your choices. This edoc will help you learn about these pervasive little blobs of XML markup: their purpose, the elements that make up a feed, the different formats, and the tools for generating and consuming feeds.

The tutorial starts with a succinct description of what a feed really is, then it covers:

  • What Makes Up a Feed: A look at the common container and entry elements for a feed, and what they do.
  • Industry Support: An overview of the major players and tools for syndication feeds.
  • Discovering Feeds: How to make your site easy to subscribe to.
  • Subscribing To and Reading Feeds: A look at various aggregators and how to use them.
  • Which Feeds Work Best for You: Should you use RSS 1.0, RSS 2.0, or Atom? Or all of them? Here's how to decide.

This tutorial will help you get your syndication feed up and running, so you can then forget about it and focus instead on what's really important at your site: the content you are providing to the world.

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3.0

(based on 3 reviews)

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(4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

Decent Content but Not Sure of the Audience

By Jeremy Hall

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly What Are Syndication Feeds:

Though the basics of this shortcut cover some good information, I think it has a little problem with deciding who the intended audience is. Most of the content is more of a definition, description and overview of RSS feeds, which is fitting to the title. But, it takes the time to define the elements of a fee for different feed protocols, etc. which would really only be interesting to someone trying to build a feed by hand. For those sections, if they are intended for a more advanced user, they followed it short.

Though I have been impressed by many of the O'Reilly shortcut titles it for their concise and accurate information provided in a downloadable real time (read that instant gratification) format, this title fell a little bit short. That said, there is some good information here for beginners who want to understand a little bit more about what RSS feeds are, how to use an aggregator, how to subscribe to feeds in general, and things like that.

Intended Audience: not quite sure

Rating: Average

(5 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

Not what I expected

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly What Are Syndication Feeds:

I thought this would give a more solid understanding of what Syndication feeds are, why I would want to use them, and how to set up my computer to find them and use them.

I am an experienced programmer and I did not expect this to describe the XML elements for the various RSS feed specifications - which is probably half the content of this paper. That infomation is readily available and very dry reading and not something that anyone would expect or want to commit to memory.

(4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Loved it!

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly What Are Syndication Feeds:

I just read this eDoc and found it very helpful. The eDoc format is cool because they're nice and short, easy to digest during a break. It took about 30 minutes to read and now I am up to speed on RSS.

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