There’s no doubt in my mind that Anil Dash has a crystal ball stowed away somewhere at his place back in NYC. While his piece on the Pushbutton web almost two weeks ago was inspiring in concept, it’s exhilarating to see it come to fruition.
(Seriously, if you haven’t read his piece, GO THERE NOW: The Pushbutton Web: Realtime Becomes Real. I’ll wait.)
Back? With me? Good.
Tonight, Googler Mihai Parparita announces that Google Reader now sends realtime updates to FriendFeed when you share items using the PubSubHubbub protocol.
Huh-wha? you ask. Yeah, I know. It’s no Google Wave. But that’s what makes this exciting. This kind of small Pushbutton implementation is how real web pages will easily use existing technology to notify one another of new updates. The Google Reader/FriendFeed integration is just the first tiny step in what will be a broad deployment of realtime-enabled sites. These sites and services will let one another know when they have new data to share without the sucky inefficiencies of polling. Check out how fast FriendFeed updates when you share an item in Google Reader in this video.
In short, it’s almost zero latency.
I’ve been lurking on the PSHB mailing list for a few weeks now. I’ve enabled pinging to Google’s open hub on Smarterware’s feed. (XML nerds, note the
rel="hub" href="http://pubsubhubbub.appspot.com" attributes in my Atom.) This means posts from here should show up in realtime on both FriendFeed and, according to this demo video, Google Reader (though my tests show GReader does not work right now). To enable PubSubHubbub pinging on your feed, you just need to check a box over in FeedBurner. Here’s a helpful howto on doing that. For more, check out Google’s own post on the subject, What’s all the hubbub about PubSubHubbub? and Dave Winer’s breakdown.
This is just the beginning of what might be done with publishers (like you) pushing new updates/tweets/blog posts/whatevers to your subscribers in under a second via a hub or cloud. We’re talking about real-time cloud computing that doesn’t depend upon centralized servers or technology owned by one company here. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
PubSubHubbub support for Reader shared items [Google Reader Blog]