Feeds are short summaries of content presented in a structured way via XML, and are usually organized with the most recent information on top. You can always stay up to date using feed aggregators (software that can read feeds). Using them, you can also have the content you want delivered or collected for you in the way and place you want. This applies not only to written content from blogs or new websites, but also audio and video content (that is, podcasts).
Typically, web feeds are either in RSS (Really Simple Syndication) or Atom format. RSS has changed over the past decade, and thus is often referred by a version number. The most up-to-date version of RSS is RSS 2.0.1. The older versions that are still somewhat in use are 0.91 and 1.0. For our purposes in this book, we'll use RSS 2; but you should know that some software is only capable of reading the older versions. If you ever find that you have readers on your blog who write to you complaining that their feed reader can't read your RSS feed, then you could consider publishing links for the older formats (we'll review how to do that later in the chapter), or using a web tool (such as FeedBurner). Tools such as these can serve up feeds in different formats, so your visitors can receive your content in whichever way they choose.
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