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Google going RSS format

May not have been following the syndication format debate, heck you may not even know what syndication is or even care. You should care as syndication is the way your site content is feed to net users with news readers, which will be the majority of Internet users in the near future.

Anyhow for those old enough to remember the advent of VCR machines there were two formats – VHS or Beta. If you had a Beta machine you could only use Beta tapes and vice versa. The folks with Beta machines lost out. The soon had less movie selection and in time none.

Content can be syndicated or feed to users in various formats but RSS (real simple syndication) and Atom have been the two biggies. Seeing RSS buttons all over the net including the news sections of sites like Yahoo, I assumed RSS was the clear winner.

That was until Google bought a company called Blogger and said they were going to use Atom. That meant folks like me with news reader (news aggregator) software that only got RSS could not get Atom feeds from Google’s Blogger. My thinking was that news reader software would be updated to read both – that’s easier to do than change the size of Videos for your VCR.

But courtesy of LawTechGuru Blog by Jeff Beard:

CNet reports that Google is once again looking at supporting the RSS standard for their Blogger line. …[A]fter Google acquired Blogger, it dropped RSS 1.0 and 2.0 support for its feeds in complete favor of Atom. This sparked off a huge debate regarding the two formats, and how Google’s dominance would affect the “balance of power”.

As CNet reports, “According to an internal Google e-mail seen by CNET, the company has been considering the change and last month assigned at least one staffer to write a memo summarizing technical details relating to RSS. The request came amid a broader discussion touching on extending RSS support for new Blogger subscribers and Google Groups, which supports Atom but not RSS in a test version of the service.”

I could be wrong but Bill Gates may have brought this change of heart on Google’s part. Two weeks ago Gates said Blogs and their RSS news feeds were preferable to email and Web sites for business communications. In life, raising kids and running a business you choose your fights. Most business people do not choose to fight the Microsoft monster.

So for now I will stick with RSS and not worry about Atom, which could become the ‘Beta format’ of the day.

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