What is Atom?

Atom is a simple way to read and write information on the web, allowing you to easily keep track of more sites in less time, and to seamlessly share your words and ideas by publishing to the web.

If you’re new to Atom, you can find out more about what Atom can do for you. Or if you just want to get started, tools and services which work with the Atom format are listed in the AtomEnabled directory.

Created by leading service providers, tool vendors and independent developers, Atom is designed to be a universal publishing standard for personal content and weblogs. Technical information about working with the Atom format is available at the developer information page, and publications or weblogs that are interested in the benefits of being AtomEnabled can find out more about the benefits of Atom for publishers.

The latest news on Atom

Atom Publishing Protocol – Introduction (10/16/2007)
A brief Introduction to the Atom Publishing Protocol has been published on the AtomEnabled.org web-site. An HTML version of RFC 5023 is also available, based on the work of Julian Reschke.

Moving Toward Atom (9/23/2006)
The US Intelligence Community Metadata Working Group has issued a recommendation that the Intelligence Community, over time, move toward adoption of Atom Syndication Format as the Community’s standard XML-based language for syndication feeds.

Enabling Atom 1.0 on WordPress (8/04/2006)
Scott Chow from The Blog Starter has posted instructions on how you can produce valid Atom 1.0 feeds with a WordPress blog.

Tri-XML 2006 presentation (7/29/2006)
Dave Johnson gave an excellent talk on the Atom feed format and Atom Publishing Protocol. Here’s the abstract:

Beyond blogging: Atom format and protocol. Like XML-RPC and SOAP before, feeds and publishing protocols were born in the blogopshere and quickly moved beyond blogging. Nowadays, web service providers are using RSS/Atom feeds and REST-based publishing protocols as lightweight alternatives to SOAP. And developers are finding new ways to combine web services from different sites into new applications, known as “mash-ups” in the lingo of Web 2.0. If you’d like to do the same, then attend this talk to learn about the new IETF Atom feed format (RFC-4287) and the soon-to-be-finalized Atom protocol, which together form a strong foundation for REST-based web services development.

Check it out!

AtomEnabled Bloggers

If your have a blogger-generated but independently hosted weblog, and your host supports PHP, you too can be on this list.

  1. Install the script – Download the script, and upload as atom.php. This file should go in the same directory as your weblog.
  2. Promote the new feed – This can be done in one of two ways:
    1. Redirect – This is the most complete and comprehensive approach, however not all hosting providers allow users this level of control over the web server. If yours does, try adding the following to a file named .htaccess to the same directory that you placed the atom.php:
      Redirect atom.xml http://your.host.name/path-to-blog/atom.php

      Notes: these instructions are for the Apache Web Server. Instructions for other web servers, including Microsoft’s IIS will differ. You will need to tailor your.host.name and path-to-blog.

    2. Advertise – The other approach is to direct your existing and new subscribers to this new feed. Mention the change on your weblog. Update your auto-discovery and other links. To update your links, go into Settings / Site Feed (pictured below)

      Once you have navigated to that page, change the Site Feed URL to read:


      Notes: You will need to tailor your.host.name and path-to-blog. You may also have other references on your template that need to be updated. Once complete, republish your blog via the Posting / Status tab.

If you have another Blogger produced site that has upgraded to Atom 1.0, feel free to leave a pointer to your site on the Atom wiki. Once your feed has been verified, this weblog post will be updated.