Generally speaking, I’m a fan of emerging technologies and stuff like that. I just don’t always get it right off the bat.
I first heard of RSS/Atom in 2002 or 2003, whenever LiveJournal started actively pushing syndication, making feeds on journals discoverable. I looked upon these alien terms with interest, but some confusion. Wait, I can subscribe to a blog? Why would I want to do that?
I know what I probably sounded like back then. Perhaps in a couple of years, I’ll be laughing at myself, wondering what I’d do without PubSubHubBub. Just perhaps.
For now, though, I’m not quite sure I get it. Since Google Reader now supports the format, I went ahead and found a WordPress plugin to enable it here on writegeek. I understand that to an RSS subscriber, it means faster or near-instantaneous updates. And to a publisher, it mean not only faster updates for one’s readers, but less load on the server, since millions of desktop feed-readers won’t be regularly requesting one’s RSS file. (Not that that applies to me… yet.)
Yeah, I’m a bit intrigued at the instant publishing, but have a bunch of unanswered questions. Which servers should I be pinging? What motivates one to run a server? What are their business models? A couple of years down the road, when they realize that they’re running the most popular servers but still aren’t making money, will they be putting ads in my feed? And I think I read something about servers talking to each other; how does that work?
There seems to be nothing to lose, no lock-in or single baskets in which to place all of my proverbial eggs, so I’ll try it out. (That was basically the point of this post.)
Time to click Publish and start jabbing my F5 key…