Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Publishing Your Blog to the World at the Speed of NOW

In Search Of Lost TimeImage by bogenfreund via Flickr
In the world of web technology, there have been a number of new and exciting advancements. Today, I would like to explain what I know about RSSCloud and PubSubHubBub and how these developments may affect you.

The Low Down

To begin, let us first take a look at what all the chatter is really about. By now you may have seen RSSCloud or PubSubHubBub come across your screen on Twitter, Facebook, or Friendfeed. So, the question remains, what is really going on?

On Monday, September 7, 2009, Dave Winer announced that WordPress supports RSSCloud. In short, this change to WordPress means that millions of people can update their blog and push out updates to RSS Readers immediately.

Ok, So What Has Changed?

Today, if you post a blog, it could take between minutes and hours to reach your RSS readers.

In the age of Twitter, Facebook, Lazyfeed, Lifestreaming, and Friendfeed, information is more immediate and in real-time. We have come to expect news on the fly. With RSSCloud and PubSubHubBub, you can begin to do that very thing. You can write a blog and it go out to the world in seconds versus hours.

Is There a Difference Between PubSubHubBub and RSSCloud?

While I will not go into great detail about the inner workings of either technology, I will express to you that both serve the same purpose. Each one helps to push your blog out to the world. For a more comprehensive comparison, take a look at PubSubHubBub vs. RSSCloud.

Why Should I Care About Real-Time?

That is a great question. Let me explain with a quick story. My first memorable experience leading me to value this update happened weeks ago. When I learned that Facebook bought Friendfeed, I immediately wrote a blog entitled, "A Game Changer: Facebook acquires Friendfeed". Do you know how long it took before Google Reader posted my item? The answer is hours.

One by one, I watched other authors write about the event until my own perspective got lost in the mix. Had my blog been connected to RSSCloud or PubSubHubBub, you would have seen my entry much earlier than you did. In the information game, timing is everything.

Next Steps

Now that you understand the basics of real-time and why it is important, let us look at what can you do with this knowledge?

WordPress
For those using WordPress.com, the change is already in place. However, if you host your own instance of WordPress, then the following instructions, by Corvida, should serve you well. See: Installing WordPress RSSCloud Plugin.

Blogspot
Similar to WordPress, Google's Blogspot supports PubSubHubBub. In this case, nothing further is needed.

Feedburner
For those, like me, that use Feedburner to disseminate our feeds to the world, check out Gina Trapani's "How to PubSubHubBub-Enable Your Site's Feed" for specific directions. At this point, Feedburner does not support RSSCloud but offers PubSubHubBub in its stead.

Closing Note

It is important to note that not every RSS Reader (such as Google Reader and Outlook) supports the latest update. This means that until they do the real-time syndication will still post minutes to hours later. However, making aforementioned changes will ensure that when available, your stuff will go out in the speed of NOW.

For those interested in a RSS feed aggragator that does support RSSCloud, take a look at Winer's River2.

Until next time...

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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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