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Feed Publishing Research

15th Dec 2008

In my previous entries I alluded to research into the popularity of different approaches for publishing feeds, particularly those containing media objects such as photos, videos and audio. I've now written up a short summary of my findings.

The three things that spring right out here are:

  • RSS is published by just about everyone.
  • You usually find Atom in the traditional blogging space, but it isn't even in the game when it comes to media publishing.
  • The only thing you can actually reliably get out of MediaRSS is a thumbnail image.

I'm continuing to mull over whether to rewrite activity streams in terms of RSS or to hope for increased adoption of Atom. My leaning right now is to the former.

Another interesting fact not reflected in my results document is that none of the RSS feeds I examined used any RSS features that are not available in Atom when augmented with my AtomMedia draft, and AtomMedia allows only one way to publish each case rather than the myriad combinations of media:group, media:content and other element nesting that are allowed by Media RSS and used by feeds in the wild. It's too bad that if I move to RSS/MediaRSS for activity streams I'll have no need for AtomMedia; I'd be delighted if someone else would pick it up and finish it off, though.

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