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Try saying that three times fast!

PubSubHubbub has been getting a lot of press this week. It’s not an easy word to say but it’s a really cool concept and principle.

Actually, it’s one of those things that makes you wonder why it wasn’t thought of before.

PubSubHubbub is described as a simple, open, server-to-server, web-hook-based publish/subscribe protocol relative to Atom and RSS.

ok, maybe that doesn’t mean a lot to you on the surface but it’s really exciting to someone like me and will make life for you a lot more… dynamic.

Firstly, think of RSS (Real Simple Syndication) and Atom as connections between sites… they’re feeds. If you subscribe to something, the likelihood is that you’re using RSS or Atom in one way or another to subscribe.
RSS and Atom protocols are used to push information between sites too.

Here’s an analogy, for you – call it ‘Pull’ in which server are constantly asking “hey, do you have anything new for me?” it’s a waste of time and resources and tends to slow down a lot of stuff by communicating directly between the ‘subscriber’ and the ‘publisher’.

PubSubHubbub comes along with ‘Push’ in which a hub monitors the publisher and when anything form the publisher is updated the hub sends out the update to subscribers.

In all, it means a faster, almost immediate, update on feeds and a lot less time and resources being used by servers all over the world by not asking and waiting for feeds to be published.

Already, there is a plugin for (hosted) WordPress installations [here] so that you can start hubbing your feeds immediately to your subscribers.

Oh and no, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you, as a reader, will be inundated with new data, constantly. It means that things like your RSS reader will get the information from the blogs that you’re subscribed to a lot quicker.

There’s an excellent video that describes what’s going on in rather understandable terms – see below.

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Author: Andy Quayle

Andy was born in the Isle of Man and currently lives in Pittsburgh.
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