Friday, July 11, 2003

Golden Age of RSS

I think we are in the Golder Age of RSS. I mean right now.

Can blogs/RSS be spammed? Some one asked me this question at the Blogfest. The technical answer is no.

However, the practical answers is that just as the Golden Age of eNewsletters has passed because of spam, so too is there a danger lurking beyond this RSS Golder Age. An RSS feed can be abused by too many requests. Too many requests and the publisher will be forced discontinue the feed or buy more in bandwidth. Abuse the system and the Gold Age is over.

How can this happen? As the number of users of desktop RSS readers increases, so does the requests to RSS files. In fact Dave Winer was complaining about this the over day where someone was pinging every 5 minutes. And there are several posts on the FeedDemon beta forum on it. So take a fast growing use of RSS readers used by newbies who don't know about bandwidth costs and they unknowingly make too many requests. Cost go up exponentially for RSS providers.

The only solution I see is to have an industry certification process for RSS Readers to make sure they are well written and warn users about abusing bandwidth.

PS. This also speaks to why all RSS feeds should be static. A dynamic feed just takes up too much server resources. A good web developer should spend a little extra time and have the dynamic feed write to a static file.

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