With the current interest in rssCloud and PubSubHubbub (PuSH), I've been thinking about all the bandwidth that's consumed by the RSS elements that describe the feed. When a client requests an RSS feed 10 times in one day, it gets the basic details of the feed over and over again. When clients request the Workbench feed, they get 1,800 characters containing optional RSS elements that I haven't changed in years, except for the PuSH element I added last month. Workbench has 1,900 feed subscribers, so if they average ... read more

I've begun digging into PubSubHubbub (PuSH), the real-time RSS update protocol created by Brad Fitzpatrick and Brett Slatkin of Google and Martin Atkins of Six Apart. I was under the impression that it's harder for RSS publishers to use than the RSSCloud Interface, but that isn't the case. The specification is simple and precisely written, adopting conventions like RFC 2119 that make a spec considerably easier to understand, and it communicates using basic HTTP requests. I wrote the software that runs the Drudge ... read more

I posted a call for comments last night on RSS-Public, the mailing list of the RSS Advisory Board, asking what people think the board should do in response to the ongoing effort to revise the RSSCloud Interface. The interface has been a part of the RSS specification since the publication of RSS 0.92 in December 2000. It determines how software can use the cloud element in an RSS feed to connect to a server that offers real-time notifications when the feed has been updated. In a nutshell, here's how it works: A ... read more

WordPress and Dave Winer are working together to bring real-time, Twitter-style updates to RSS feeds using the cloud element and the accompanying RSSCloud Interface. Yesterday, WordPress added RSS cloud support to "all 7.5 million blogs on WordPress.com." Winer's documenting the ongoing work at RSSCloud.org. Although some tech sites are reporting this as a new initiative, cloud has been around since RSS 0.92 in December 2000. I was getting real-time RSS updates as a Radio UserLand blogger back then, and it was a ... read more

I was clearing out old saved web pages when I found an amusing weblog post from the syndication wars. Here's Robert Sayre back in 2006: I just left a response on Mihai Parparita's blog, hitting back at Mark Pilgrim, after he decided say that I am full of ---- about everything. Well, that's not very nice, but I've certainly said and written some not-very-nice things myself. It's refreshing to hear it out in the open, instead of backchannel conversations. I'm so tired of all this crap, and I'm as guilty as anyone. ... read more

Things aren't looking good today at Bloglines, the popular web-based service I've been using for years to read RSS feeds. The site has been offline for at least eight hours and isn't even responding to web requests with an error. Instead, requests time out with the error "The server at bloglines.com is taking too long to respond" (in Mozilla Firefox) or "cannot display the webpage" (Internet Explorer). Apparently, the Bloglines plumber who appears whenever there's a system outage has been laid off. Some people are ... read more

In a discussion about journalism on venture capitalist Fred Wilson's blog, Dave Winer writes: ... professionals make plenty of these kinds of mistakes. For example last week the esteemed NY Times said RSS was software and that it was co-written by a 14-year old on a mail list. It is neither of those things. They never called me to check it out. The 14-year-old he references is Aaron Swartz, who got some nice press recently from the Times for an incredibly ballsy stunt he pulled to promote public access to ... read more