Microformats give us a nice way of using special markup for special content. This makes it easier for us to reuse the web page to mine for that specific data.
hAtom is one such microformat, which unfortunately implies that it gets ignored by the enterprisey and corporate culture, and it gets adopted and experimented in the open source one-man world. hAtom helps us reuse our web page as a feed, which means that we can eliminate, at least in some cases, the need for separately generated feeds.
The biggest advantage is that the same source, literally, is being used to display on the Web and in the feed readers. This is one of the best practices we try to achieve by spending hours and hours of programming. This also means that we can serve a feed from a static HTML web page.
This blog supports hAtom but where does one use it? Unfortunately, for some reasons, there aren’t many feed readers which understand it. It has received support from publishing, especially blogging, tools and it has been noticed by even the HTML 5 group. However, it seems to be completely missing from actual usage in the syndication world.
In my opinion using hAtom for syndication is one of the best things we can do with the markup. It can reduce the overhead of generating separate feeds, and also make the life a lot simpler for feed readers which have been marred with multiple formats and their multiple versions.