Home Notifixious’ Superfeeder: Getting Closer to the Real-Time Web

Notifixious’ Superfeeder: Getting Closer to the Real-Time Web

RSS feeds have become the backbone of the Web 2.0 movement, but as we are moving towards a real-time experience on the web, RSS is starting to show its age. To update your subscriptions, you have to regularly poll these feeds. This, of course, is a major problem for RSS readers and notification services which often have to deal with a substantial lag before new posts and messages appear. The newest service that tries to tackle this problem is Notifixious, but as Notifixious founder Julien Genestoux explains, a lot of problems still need to be fixed before ubiquitous real-time notifications can become a reality.

To tackle these issues, Notifixious is now building its own ‘superfeeder,’ which it hopes will be able to overcome some of these problems. The company is also planning to make these updates available to the community by providing access to its own real-time XMPP notifications and SUP feeds to third-party developers in the future.

Pull: RSS

Traditionally, RSS readers pull feeds at a regular interval (usually somewhere between 15 and 60 minutes). In a real-time world, that, of course, is far too slow. Services like FeedBurner introduce even more lag into this system, so that it can often take half an hour or longer before a new post appears in Google Reader. Notifixious itself polls every feed about twice an hour.

Pull Smarter

Thanks to FriendFeed’s new Simple Update Protocol (SUP), some of the heavy lifting of regularly polling thousands of RSS feeds can be reduced, but as of now, only a small number of services actually support this new protocol. Notifixous also monitors the public activity of ping servers, similar to what PubSub is doing with its new (though still unreleased) product.

Push: XMPP

Currently, Notifixious can only get ‘real’ real-time updates through XMPP from Identica, Seesmic, LiveJournal, and Sixapart’s TypePad and Vox blogging communities.  Genestoux notes that he would like to see every content provider use XMPP in the future.

Giving Back: Can Notifixious Replace Gnip’s Abandoned XMPP Project?

Maybe the most exciting idea here, however, is that Notifixious plans to share an XMPP and SUP feed with the rest of the community. Gnip, of course, at one point promised to do something very similar, but, in the end, pulled the plug on this project.

Other companies like ZapTXT or Pingie offer a similar service – though we have also seen far too many promising services like Rasasa or Immidi.at close before they could ever live up to their promises. Our experience with these services has been quite mixed, however. We will have to wait and see if Notifixious can deliver on its promise.

Notifixious’ Service Right Now

As for the Notifixious service itself, the company will send its updates to your cell phone, IM account, or email address. You can sign up for feeds individually, or import an OPML file.

If you want to send your own real-time updates from your blog to Notifixious, you can use the company’s plugins and widgets for TypePad, Vox, Blogger, MovableType, and self-hosted WordPress sites.

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