About Blogs, Atoms and RSS feed!

For people who are dropping in here, are interested in blogs but still are deciding whether they want to try their hand at blogging; as usual I say take the plunge. There are many blog sites that help you out. Sites like RediffBlog and BlogDrive seem to be the easiest for a person to start blogging. However I find BlogSpot most convenient primarily because it is connected to the Blogger engine, which I feel is the best. However to use this site to the best potential one needs to know some basic info of setting up web pages. Then you can really make a slick site.

However at this point you will still only have the functionality to put up your blogs. If you are using BlogSpot then you will have to use an external agency like Haloscan for putting up comments (Comments are integral to RediffBlog and BlogDrive) and trackbacks. More about trackbacks later.

One interesting thing that almost all of these sites provide is a functionality called site feed. This site feed is in one of two forms either RSS or ATOM. Read about RSS ( check for definition in this page ) here: XML.com: What is RSS? [Dec. 18, 2002] and about Atom here: BLOGGER – Knowledge Base – What is Atom?. Basically both of these are protocols of representation of the data you put up. If this feature is enabled then every time you post, in addition to serving the new web page, the blogging engine also creates an XML feed of the page. Softwares like blog readers or blog aggregators can then read this feed. A blog-reader is just like a newsreader (I use SharpReader. Read more about it here: SharpReader’s home page). It makes the job of a blog surfer very easy as the software collects all the latest blogs from all the sites you have subscribed to and you can read all his info from one program rather than having to visit each site. This makes for more efficient blog surfing. Read more about this at EContentMag.com: Can RSS Relieve Information Overload? and at How To Speed-Read the Net – Ditch your browser, RSS makes surfing for news a joy. By Paul Boutin.

Keeping this in mind it is the duty of every blogger to make the life of the reader a little bit easier by setting up this functionality for his/her site. If I am not mistaken this functionality is a default in RediffBlogs. In BlogSpot one has to go to settings/site feed and enable the functionality. For bloggers like most of us I prefer to give the full text but the choice is yours. I am sorry I have no idea how to do this for BlogDrive.

So all of you Bloggers and would-be Bloggers do not forget to add the feed. May our tribe increase!!!

P.S: BlogDrive users do have other plus points, like their Blogdrive Mini-MEditor . If you are a blogdrive user you really need to use this.

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