A blog about succeeding as an independent creative
by Jared White

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Pygmy Nuthatch

JSON Feed: Now Supported

XML has not been a popular data interchange format on the web for some time now. All the cool kids are using JSON. And for good reason — it’s far more readable and much easier to work with than XML. Yet the standard feed format for blogs and news sites for ages has continued to be RSS (and to a lesser extent Atom), a dated and somewhat unwieldy format that is only in use because of its far-reaching support.

Thankfully, some intrepid souls well-known in the world of news readers have banded together to launch the new JSON Feed format. It’s supported by a fast-growing number of news readers, and the geek community is adding JSON feeds to its sites at a rapid clip. Now, so have I!

This is exciting stuff. At the risk of sounding like one of those dudes that always says “hey, I thought of that before too!”, I did think of that before too. I was playing around with a format proposal I called RJS (Readable JSON Syndication), and it was obviously inspired by the design of RSS:

{
  "channel": {
    "title": "Jared White",
    "source_url": "http://jaredwhite.com"
  },
  "sections": [{
    "title": "Essays and more",
    "entries": [
      {
        "title": "Top Questions About Stuff",
        "subtitle": "Blab blah blah",
        "excerpt": "I am an excerpt and lots of stuff",
        "full_body": "I am an excerpt and lots of stuff and also a full body",
        "authors": [{"name": "Jared White", "social_urls": [{"service": "Twitter","url": "..."}]}],
        "published_at": "ISODate",
        "canonical_url": "http://jaredwhite.com/foo",
        "images": [{"size":"thumbnail","url":"..."},{"size":"cover","url":"..."}]
      }
    ]
  }]
}

Needless to say, I don’t have the industry cred that Brent Simmons and co. do, so it’s much better that they were the ones to publish a new format spec. My hat’s off to them, and I hope people continue to champion JSON Feed so we can finally say goodbye to RSS/Atom/XML!