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RSS over P2P: one of those aha moments

Perhaps we don't just need to argue over the feed format and blog APIs but also on the whole interaction model of feeds. Mailing lists are a good push model but we've stopped using them because they add to the 'information overload' we all feel when working with an email client in these spam-filled days. In contrast, an RSS aggregator is a place for one-way information -- we can ignore the feeds until lunchtime, or the end all day, without worrying that there is some important message which we will have to respond to (although how many of us actually do resist the temptation to peek? RSS aggregators are far too compelling and addictive... 'what's the world writing about today?'). But, under the hood perhaps we need a new distribution model.
They say 'popularity comes at a price' and this is especially true of blogging, where a popular blog can get pounded by greedy RSS aggregators costing the owner money in excess bandwidth charges. - Jamie Lawrence

That's an excellent observation.

The problem in the business world manifests itself as overprovisioning of hardware - again and again you see big iron deployed to cater for the fraction of hours in a year a couple of workstatations couldn't handle the traffic. Most of the time those servers are idling, unless you happen to be in that part of the power law curve that says you're going to be hammered frequently. The amount of hardware underpinning the Web today is phenomenal.

This is all good news if you're in the business of pushing tin. And it's tin pushers who potentially have the most to lose by any arbitrage induced by Grid and P2P technology. So expect to see those guys increasingly involved in future Grid and P2P standardization efforts, in the same way middleware types overran web services. Intel and IBM are already all over this stuff. Sun has bankrolled two P2P technologies to date, but I haven't see any discussion about how they think P2P/Grid might affect hardware revenue.

May 2, 2004 09:42 AM


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