Acronyms and Tech Talk

You'll probably run into talk of various acronyms and other unexplained jargon when reading about web feeds.  If you want to know more, read on!



RSS is the main technology used behind most feeds on the web.  It stands for Really Simple Syndication (or sometimes Rich Site Summary).

RSS describes the structure of a feed's code and what should be contained within it.  RSS is used so much that it and the term 'web feed' are often used interchangeably. You may hear people referring to "RSS readers" instead of "feed readers", and “RSS feeds” instead of “web feeds”.

RSS comes in several versions, each following different specifications to a different degree of accuracy, but you needn't worry about the technical details of it all.  Your feed reader should handle everything for you.


Atom is an alternative specification for web feeds, created in response to structural problems and unclear boundaries with the RSS format.  Atom isn't as widely used as RSS, but feeds created in Atom format may be less likely to run into problems in your feed reader due to Atom's strict format requirements.


A file format for transferring bundles of feeds around.  Great for imports and exports, such as the Starter Packs we offer.


A kind of code specification for how to write documents, eXtensible Markup Language allows for both humans and computers to read the same document and make use of it.  Atom, RSS, and OPML are just specialised versions of this technology.