Capturables from Bad Hair Day #6

Every once in a while I review my blog hosting options. The first time I did this was in this post: 'Is it worth switching from TypePad to WordPress?' I was impressed with Anil Dash's swift comment. What prevented me from moving to another platform back then was Anil's point that I would loose "the ability to get professional support right within the application".

In 'If you were to start blogging today…', I tried to compare different platforms as systematically as I could.

The last time I compared blog platforms, in my post 'Hopes and fears of switching to WordPress', I again came to the conclusion to stick with TypePad. The main reason this time was that I haven't figured out how to export my blog's content from TypePad and import it into, say, WordPress, in such a way that the URLs of all my entries would remain the same after domain-mapping WordPress. I still don't know how to do this; if you do, please let me know.

Anyway, Anil was a guest at Marshall Kirkpatrick's and Dave Winer's Bad Hair Day podcast this week. He is SixApart's chief evangelist (the makers of TypePad) and has a keen eye for the latest social Internet technology.

The threesome talked about Anil's vision of the pushbutton web, on which he wrote an insightful post recently, how this relates to Dave's recent work on rssCloud, and to Google's PubSubHubBub.

From Anil's post, 'The Pushbutton Web: Realtime Becomes Real':

"(…) Before Pushbutton, in today's systems, when you create a message (a blog post, tweet or other update) that's published in your RSS or
Atom feed, every application or site that wants updates from you has to
repeatedly request your feed to know when it's updated. You can
optionally notify ("ping") some applications to tell them it's time to
come collect your new updates, but this is time-consuming and
resource-intensive on both sides, especially if you want to notify a
lot of people. (…)

Pushbutton-enabled applications will improve upon the current state of
affairs by proactively delivering not just the notification that
there's a new message, but the content of the message itself.
And instead of requiring all those applications to come to your site to
read the update, it uses a hub server in the cloud to pass along the
message directly to all the receivers that are interested in it. (…)

  1. You, the Sender, create a message to be delivered via RSS or Atom
  2. Your application gives the messsage to one or more PubSubHubBub or RSSCloud hubs, which reside in the Cloud
  3. The PubSubHubBub or RSSCloud hubs deliver the message to any Receivers, the applications or sites that have requested updates from you (…)"

The result is that updates happen within a second or two. The live streams can have powerful applications. One application Anil dreams about in the show is of a spreadsheet which' cells are populated with formulas and live RSS feeds, so that streaming data can be analyzed in realtime.

Interesting stuff!

My previous posts on Bad Hair:

See also the FriendFeed group at