Flow – Jabber/XMPP as an RSS over HTTP replacement

Twitter on XMPP is just the beginning…

Speed of Light

Courtesy NASA Glenn Research Center

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I’ve been using Twitter as a main source of news and entertainment (it’s entertaining and informative to have commentary coming in with links, events, articles, and photos). Most everything pertinent to my areas of interest are discussed, so the latest news is passed around as discussion.

As my series on flow describes, my Twitter stream is received through a GTalk client and I’m receiving about 30 to 40 tweets per minute.

This is a lot of incoming information. A lot more than one could read and keep up with all day. It’s valuable for periods of time… Jump in to the river, jump out. This is sort of like news.

Now, I love RSS. I spend a good hour per day reading feeds. I believe it will be the standard in syndication for years to come. And maybe it will be the format passed over XMPP channels, too. In using Twitter for my flow of information I have discovered how amazing real-time updates of news can be, and how HTTP (the current method of pulling RSS feeds from various servers) isn’t powerful enough.

Imagine Google Reader being push based. Instead of periodically receiving items every five, ten, or fifteen minutes. You receive new blog entries, articles, etc, within milliseconds of their publication. This becomes amazingly powerful because you are no longer reading what happened, you are participating in what is happening.

Comment systems become conversation engines. Discussions and exchanges of information become natural, rather than one-way.

HTTP and web services, with their beautiful RESTfulness, won’t be going away. They have a very effective place for on-demand pulls of data. What I’m describing is a move away from HTTP and web services which currently poll – the enablement of FriendFeed, Twitter, blogs, and news services to fire off announcements on a push basis…

Nobody wants to wait three minutes before receiving their next round of updates. We want it when it happens.

7 thoughts on “Flow – Jabber/XMPP as an RSS over HTTP replacement

  1. The ATOM over PubSub formatting is exactly what I'm referring to. Either ATOM or RSS via XMPP will be superior to HTTP web service based calls for updates. Thanks for the link, that's excellent.

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