RSS vs Atom for Blog Syndication

I’m looking for some help understanding the benefits of both RSS and Atom from a blog publishing perspective.

From what I can tell, there is little difference between the two syndication formats when it comes to syndicating text or text with images. And most blogging platforms generate feeds in both popular formats, so any compatibility issues at the reader level can largely be overcome by picking the most compatible feed for the reader. This also is hardly an issue with popular RSS readers.

But what if you were in a position where you were forced to choose between the two formats? Or, if you had time to build one format with plans to come back and support the other format at a later date. Who would win out in that decision?

As far as I can tell, the answer would be RSS 2.0 today since it appears to offer more flexibility for publishers for things like podcasting.

While Atom appears to offer a lot of capabilities unrelated to publishing a feed for syndication, from a blog publisher’s perspective, I don’t see the benefits.

Educate me.

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