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With WordPress.com’s latest announcement, Google has now achieved dominance in real-time RSS. It’s PubSubHubbub for the win.

This Wednesday, the official WordPress.com blog announced that their huge blogging network would now universally be implementing Google’s PubSubHubbub protocol alongside WordPress’s competing plugin rssCloud.

There’s been a bit of a race to determine the web-standard in real-time RSS feeds. Moving RSS to a push service has been a story of parallel development. A lot of folks realized that sending RSS updates to a reader, instead of waiting for the reader to pick them up, was the future. For a while though, no one knew how. There were a bunch of work-arounds out there, but not a full solution.

This icon, known as the "feed icon" ...

Image via Wikipedia

However, the two leaders in RSS production came out with competing real-time RSS APIs around the same time. WordPress released the rssCloud plugin on WordPress.com, pushing towards their vision of real-time RSS. Around the same time, Google announced that it would unleash the awkwardly named PubSubHubbub as the push-RSS for Blogger.com and Google Reader. Of course, there was some confusion among developers. Part of this was that the protocolls were being implemented on the two largest blogging sites and though gReader was going PubSubHubbub, rssCloud was developed by the father of RSS.

It was an uphill battle for WordPress when it seemed like no one was adopting their protocol. While the thousands of WordPress.com blogs might be pushing out real-time feeds, the only folks set to catch them were Dave Winer’s own software and Lazyfeed. On the other hand, not only had the biggest reader gone for PubSubHubbub, so had many of the web’s largest blogs.

With this latest announcement that WordPress.com intends to make their feeds PubSubHubbub compatible, it’s clear that the search monolith has overpowered the alternatives. While in this case Google has quickly resolved the confusion of real-time RSS for the better, I can’t feel comfortable with how quickly and completely they were able to outweigh the competition.

Do you think this has all turned out for the best?

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  1. Al Willis on Tuesday 9, 2010

    At the end of the day, PuSH is a better protocol—fat pings for the win! It’s the best thing for WordPress and the web overall, so it makes sense.

  2. aramzs on Tuesday 9, 2010

    Thanks for the comment Al. I’d have to agree with you there, I definitely think this is a good thing.


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