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Data feed is a mechanism for users to receive updated data from data sources. It is commonly used by real-time applications in point-to-point settings as well as on the World Wide Web. The latter is also called web feed. News feed is a popular form of web feed. RSS feed makes dissemination of blogs easy. Product feeds play increasingly important role in e-commerce and internet marketing. Data feeds usually requires structured data. At the present time unstructured data, e.g. HTML pages, dominate the Web. As a result, data feeds have the potential to make a bigger impact on the Web in the future.
Data feed formats
Emerging semantic data feed
The Web is evolving into a web of data or Semantic Web. Data will be encoded by Semantic Web languages like RDF or OWL according to many experts' visions. So, it is not difficult to envision data feeds will be also in the form of RDF or OWL. A big advantage of providing semantic data feeds, i.e. feeding data in Semantic Web standards, is that the data can then be readily consumed and reused by other computers. Examples of semantic data feed are available on the Ufeed online service. Ufeed allows users to create feeds in RDF format for various types of data, which include product information, news, events, job openings and studies.
CSV datafeed and affiliate marketing
CSV datafeeds are mostly being used within the affiliate marketing. Affiliate or so called publisher websites load the CSV file to load product information from online webshops. This way it is a lot easier to load thousands of product to the website. CSV isn't like XML and isn't as semantic but it does have a good basic structure. This file format can easily be created and loaded with any spreadsheet program like Excel.