It seems to me that both PubSub and Feedster provide feeds of searches run against many RSS feeds.

My question, to whoever (Scott, maybe?), is this: What the real differences here? Or are they providing something that's functionally equivalent?

Anyone tried both and care to comment?

Posted by jzawodn at January 21, 2004 02:44 PM

Reader Comments
# Matt Brubeck said:

I tend to use Feedster in standard "web search" mode: Go to, type in a search term, and get a page of results.

At Feedster, you can subscribe to the results and get updates in your aggregator, but it's optional and I never do it. At PubSub, subscribing to the results is central to how the site works. You don't perform searches so much as add subscriptions.

PubSub gives you an account and maintains a list of "My Subscriptions." Feedster doesn't maintain a list of searches for you; it lets you perform a one-off search, and gives you URIs that you can bookmark or subscribe to if you want to do the same search again.

on January 21, 2004 02:56 PM
# Matt Brubeck said:

Actually, I see that Feedster now has a "myFeedster" tab that lets you save searches. (It wasn't there when I first used Feedster.)

on January 21, 2004 02:59 PM
# Charles said:

I would add that a key difference I have noted is the ability to do more advanced searches with PubSub.

I have been waiting for Feedster to offer this kind of advanced search also...that is in addition to their existing 'advanced search' which allows you to filter in/out certain feeds.

on January 21, 2004 03:43 PM
# Betsy Devine said:

Charles, the "advanced search" page you reference for Feedster is meant as an easy way to do some very common "advanced" searches. The options for searching (or limiting your search) on a wide range of fields are listed at

on January 21, 2004 03:59 PM
# Chris Pirillo said:

PubSub's results are MUCH cleaner.

on January 21, 2004 04:25 PM
# Greg Gershman said:

The major difference is that PubSub provides real push technology; once they are sending you results via email, SOAP, etc, you wont need a "simulated push" technology like RSS to get results. But you have to register with them to create a "feed".

Feedster (and Blogdigger, and others btw) support advandced searching (check for Feedster; Blogdigger uses Lucene query syntax: PubSub seems to have a page that allows you to construct this graphically. Feedster, Blogdigger dont have this (yet, I'm guessing).

on January 21, 2004 05:27 PM
# Dror Matalon said:

Fastbuzz also provides searches, and since the search engine is integrated with the aggregator it's easy to subscribe to channels. I believe feedster also provides this. We also provide email delivery of your channels, so in that respect we offer similar services to what does.

I am impressed with the number of options that feedster offers with their advanced search. Didn't realize those were available.

on January 21, 2004 06:20 PM
# Manish Jethani said:

Simple: PubSub is *web* search with results in RSS format, while Feedster is *RSS* search with results in web (HTML) format.

on January 21, 2004 08:57 PM
# Hugh Sloan III said:

Thinking semantically and by ontology, I would say that the next killer platform already exists to render this debate obsolete. Its here in Silicon Valley being funded by Tier 1 Venture firms and comes out of MIT Labs.

Jonathan, if you invite me to the Geek dinner, I will arrange for you to see their demo!

on January 21, 2004 10:20 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Who is Jonathan?

on January 21, 2004 10:43 PM
# Danny said:

hehe - my middle name's "John" so perhaps I may respond...

It's an arguable point, but RSS 1.0 is an ontology.

I think the next killer platform is well on its way. It's the Semantic Web, a smooth extension of today's web.

If you use RSS 1.0 (converting other dialects as necessary) you can load feed into a generic RDF store. It's queriable alongside any other RDF data - e.g. FOAF.

on January 22, 2004 05:41 AM
# Bob Wyman said:

The key difference between and previous free systems is that we provide, or *will* provide, "Push" delivery mechanisms. There are other differences, but that's probably going to be the most noticeable one for awhile. See a longer explanation I've written in my blog at:

bob wyman

on January 22, 2004 06:07 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Cool, thanks for the info Bob. This helps a lot.

on January 22, 2004 06:13 PM
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