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RSS as the foundation for realtime

Sunday, January 04, 2009 by Dave Winer.

A picture named bonehead.gifSteve Gillmor has been on a campaign to get Feedburner to wake up and make his Feedburner feed more responsive. I support him in this. Now that Feedburner is pwned by Google, there's something kind of sneaky about a big company that prides itself on keeping its servers up and responsive all the time to be asleep on this.  Permalink to this paragraph

To be fair to Google, it's not 100 percent clear if Steve's website is pinging them on the feed update. This is something we could look into because the protocol for pinging is something we're all pretty familiar with, since its been around for a long time and it's pretty simple. There's an XML-RPC interface, even a REST interface. Google operates a compatible ping server. You don't even have to know the protocol, since Matt Mullenweg kindly put up a server that pings them all. Just tell him what changed and let him make the call for you. Permalink to this paragraph

However, it is the very end of the Christmas holiday, so that may be the reason. A wire-trip, and no one is watching the store. That's the danger of centralizing a decentralizing technology like RSS. Like the Internet itself it can route around outages, but only if you let it be distributed. This points out the need for an open source easy to install version of Feedburner. Now with cloud services like Amazon and Microsoft's upcoming Azure, and Google's own AppEngine, it would be a simple matter to put something together in any number of different languages that would provide all the benefits of Feedburner (stats mainly) without the problems of excessive centralization.  Permalink to this paragraph

Steve called a few minutes ago, and I volunteered to write about this. I also volunteer to help get a Feedburner competitor on the air, whether it's a small independent project or something run by Microsoft.  Permalink to this paragraph

Update: Feedsqueezer.  Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.

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