(Via OL Daily)

Good article that points to a problem with RSS and makes a pitch for some sanity. The problem is this: “If your feed works, if you are successful in attracting subscriptions on a global scale, if you do it right, you are doomed [because] everyone subscribes to a small file on your site. The critical word there is ‘everyone’.” Now of course, content syndication doesn’t work if nobody syndicates the content! The way RSS is supposed to work is that a website is accessed by a small number of harvesters; these harvesters, in turn, feed to people who have a specialized interest in a topic. But if people subscribe to individual feeds, rather than aggregated (and syndicated) feeds, then “it is like having a permanent listing on the front page of SlashDot.” Such a situation should never happen. You should not need to hit an individual feed once an hour. “In fact, you may not need my feed at all if this aggregator buddy’s feed has collected my posts with other opensource hippie sites and can provide you with a composite feed where the news is hourly different instead of my lazy two-days-maybe publishing cycle.” Via Seb (who had a good day today). By Gary Lawrence Murphy, Teledyn, November 24, 2003

One thing to add to this interesting and scary(?) scenario. Mark Fletcher at Bloglines comments that server-based aggregators hit sites only once no matter how many subscribers there are. That obviously keeps bandwith use down. More growing pains…