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Confessions of a non-techie

Blogger, the tool I use to publish this site, just announced that they now have an Atom feed capability for all weblogs on the system. So I, naturally, went and immediately activated the setting for it. I even published a dandy little link to the file that the feeder generates on the side of this page.

But here’s the kicker: I’m not sure I understand what it does. Actually, I have no clue, aside from the fact that it’s got something to do with aggregating for a news reader or… ok, see, lost already. I dutifully read the description that Blogger provided, but I’m no less lost than when I started out.

Before this posting generates a long technical reply, please do me a favour and spell it out like I’m in kindergarten. I’m not too swift when you start talking tech-ese.

And if you do understand what it means and you want to do something or other with it, it’s up and running.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • John Anderson 01.25.04, 6:30 AM

    Not real clear, is it? It looks like an alternative to RSS aggregation.

    But it seems to offer more tham RSS. It claims auto-translation for different media: I think RSS will handle a standard web page and a PDA page and a cell-phone page, but you have to code each yourself and put a link in the first page of the RSS feed. Or purchase software which will do it.

    Or, of course, this is off the top of my head – or other portion of anatomy.

  • Eric 01.27.04, 4:27 PM

    I’ll try :).

    Your atom feed is a file which contains something like an outline of what’s on your blog at the moment.

    I have a program, which is always running in the background, which periodically checks that file. If it changes, it gets a little red flag sticking up where I can see it, I can get the title, time and maybe the summary of the article, and I can get it hot off the press.

    This is good enough as it is, but that program’s watching about fifteen sites that publish interesting stuff from time to time, so I get to know when any of them is up to anything within half an hour or so, without needing to go around and load them all into my browser.

    I win because I get a customized notification service for all my favourite feed-toting blogs. You win (if you’re paying for bandwidth) because I check in on a stripped-down feed rather than poking by and loading all your images and code just to see that nothing has changed.

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