How the Web Works and Why RSS is NOT Dead - The RSS Blog
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Thu, 10 Sep 2009 01:39:14 GMT
How the Web Works and Why RSS is NOT Dead
Getting tired yet of everybody saying RSS is dead? It started 5 minutes after it was created and persists today. Robert Scoble must have announced the end of RSS at least a dozen times. Oddly, we still listen to him. He's a nice guy and BOGUmeister supreme.

Here's why Scoble is wrong. RSS is the only standardize and distributed way of doing push over HTTP without ridiculous scalling issues. Consider Atom a flavor of RSS for this discussion.

What people hate about RSS is that it's neither real-time, nor is it really push. RSS is really just a polling pull that simulates push. That is, publishers don't send their items to readers, rather the RSS clients query the publishers for updates at some interval.

Everybody wants push. Real push. Not this simulated polling crap. The problem is that HTTP is connection oriented and not very friendly for servers trying to connect to clients. Ten years ago, server could connect to a client, send a virus and then the East Coast power grid would fail. Hello firewall.

Further NATs have become popular way of using one IP address to service an office building full of clients. How do you address a client whose true IP address is local to his office? It's not possible unless you assign inbound NAT holes and then someone closes down the East Coast power grid again. Some companies do allow inbound NAT holes. Most bigcos don't.

Until someone invents another solution, we are stuck with solutions where clients connect to servers. At least at the retail level.

Twitter. Twitter is not the Web. It's based primarily on SMS, although you don't need SMS to use it. But, the immediacy of Twitter comes from SMS. The real time Twitter Web cients are scalling disasters. That's why every complains about Twitter failing. In fact, even Twitter over SMS fails, but you don't see it because it's push. They don't push errors. When you are on the Web, they respond to your poll with errors. I get them several times per day. Maybe Dick Costolo can change that. Doubt it. He's good, but he's no god.

So, we have RSS. I still don't see another solution. Thanks Dave!

Typed on phone. Don't grammar or spellcheck. It's also an incomplete thought.

Reader Comments Subscribe
Another great post guys!
I read an article on Bookmarking Demon that covered a lot of the same points!
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