Okay, I'm in Portland for OSCON and catching up on a very big backlog of stuff.
Mark Fletcher, in RSS Scaling Issues, brings up an issue that I've been worrying about (but not talking about) for quite some time now.
Centralized services like Bloglines avoid this problem because we only fetch a feed once regardless of how many subscribers we have to it. Desktop aggregators can't do that, of course, and end up generating huge amounts of traffic to sites like Infoworld. There are various things that a desktop aggregator can do to mitigate the load, like using the HTTP last-modified header and supporting gzip compression. But the aggregator still has to query the server, so there will always be a load issue.
Because Bloglines has a vested interest in increasing RSS (in the generic sense) adoption, we're looking at ways we can help. We are working on a couple of projects right now, and we're of course open to suggestions.
I've had very brief discussions about this with a few folks at work. Since we're clearly interested in seeing RSS grow, I wonder if we can't help somehow. And I wonder if we shouldn't be talking with Mark and others (who?) about this.
Thoughts and ideas out there?
Update: RSS Scaling BoF Session at OSCON, Thursday at 8pm.
Posted by jzawodn at July 26, 2004 07:39 PM