Web feed is the data format providing frequently updated contents to the users. The content distributors syndicate a web feed to allow the users to subscribe the contents. Web feed is also known as the Syndicate feed or News feed. To access a collection of web feeds, Aggregation is used so that the user can collect all the informations in one spot. Web feeds uses Pull technology to support the user to receive updated contents. Two major Web feed formats are RSS and Atom. Expansion of RSS is Really Simple Syndication and is sometimes expanded as Rich Site Summery.
In Web feed, there an aggregation programme called Feed reader or News reader that present as a dragging link from the browser to the Aggregator.The user can register with the aggregator programme present in their own PC by clicking on the feed link .The aggregator asks all the servers to give the list of contents and the aggregator make a note of the contents obtained through this mechanism. The aggregator checks the contents periodically. The contents available in web feeds are typically as HTML or links. Usually the websites give web feeds to notify the users about the updating giving abstract of the content. Web feeds are operated by many Websites, Weblogs, Podcasters etc.
Web feeds are Machine readable rather than Human readable system. Web feeds can be used for automatic transfer of information from one website to another without human activity.
Web feeds offer many advantages to the user. Some of them are:
1. User do not have to give the email ID while subscribing the Feed which gives protection from Spywares or Viruses.
2. By removing the feed from the aggregator, it is easy to unsubscribe the feed.
3. Feeds will be automatically sorted so that each feed URL has its own sets of entries.
4. It is easy to make a track of the contents to stay up-to-date.
5. It makes other websites to keep links to the contents of the website or Weblogs.
The term RSS is used to describe the Web feed or Web syndication although all web feeds are not in the RSS format.RSS ( Really Simple Syndication) is the family of web feeds mainly used to publish entries such as blog entries ,news headlines, audio video entries etc. The RSS feed typically contains full or summery of text plus a Meta data like the name of author and date of publication.RSS feeds help the users to see the updates in linked websites syndicating the contents automatically. The XML programme allows to view the published text in different programmes. The users subscribing the RSS can aggregate the texts from different sources and can also see the updating. The software used to see the RSS feed is RSS Reader or Aggregator that may be Web based, Mobile based or Desktop based one.
It is easy to subscribe the RSS feeds by entering into the URI of feeder or just by clicking the Web feed Icon in the Website that invites the subscription.RSS feeder regularly verify the updates and downloads the update text and gives an user interface to read the feeds.RSS feed reduces the job of the user for visiting all the interested websites, instead it gives the informations about the updating of all the subscribed websites.
Atom is a pair of standards, Atom syndication and Atom publishing protocol. The Atom Syndication format is in XML( Extensible Markup Language) while the Atom Publishing Protocol called Atom Pub or APP is in the HTTP protocol. Many blogs and Wiki uses the Web feeds in Atom format.
How to Use the Web feeds?
When a Website is first visited, the browser will look for the feeds and if a feed is available the Feed Icon will change colour. This colour change indicates that the feed is available. Click the button of the feed and click the feed button to see the interested feed. To get the feed automatically, subscription is necessary. The method of Feed subscription is as follows:
- Browse the website to subscribe the feed.
- Click the feed button on the website to find out the feeds.
- Click Subscribe and then Subscribe to this feed.
- Type a name for the feed and select the folder to create the feed.
- Then Click subscribe.
- The subscribed feeds can be seen in the Favorite centre. To see the feeds, click the favorite centre button and then click feeds.
- Subscription of Web feeds is generally free.