RSS in the Clouds

Pretty clouds

Clouds from my trip to WordCamp Dallas

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and it’s a way for people to subscribe to updates to your blog using a client like Google Reader or Bloglines. You may not know what RSS is but chances are people are using it to read your blog. We track over 50,000,000 posts read via RSS every week. (Around a 18% addition to our on-site views!)

Today we turned on support for all 7.5 million blogs on WordPress.com something called RSS Cloud, which is basically a way for people to get push notification that your feed has updated.

Why is this important? Right now how most people interact with feeds is by checking that it updated every now and then, usually about once an hour. Can you imagine waiting an hour to get your emails? (The world would probably be more productive.) RSS Cloud is an extra element in your RSS feed that allows subscribers to say “Hey, let me know as soon as you’ve updated, kthx.”

WordPress.com has always supported update pings through Ping-o-Matic so folks like Google Reader can get your posts as soon as they’re posted, but getting every ping in the world is a lot of work so not that many people subscribe to Ping-o-Matic. RSS Cloud effectively allows any client to register to get pings for only the stuff they’re interested in.

What does this mean to you? Well probably not too much yet, there’s only one reader so far (River2) that supports RSS cloud, but we expect there to be more in the future. We’re also going to be supporting other ways for people to get push notifications (Jabber, email, Weblogs.com pings, SUP, pubsubhubbub, Twitter… who knows what else) so people will be able to find out about and visit your new blog posts as soon as possible, making blogging a more real-time experience. Since RSS Cloud is so easy to add to RSS, it seemed like a good place to start.

You can read a bit more about this on Dave Winer’s blog, ReadWriteWeb, and Techcrunch. If this sort of thing gets your motor running there will be a RSS Cloud meetup in Berkeley this Wednesday, which I’ll be at assuming the Bay Bridge cooperates.

P.S. Happy Labor day!


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184 Comments

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  3. arcadata

    Cool – glad to see improvements in WordPress all the time

  4. Alister Scott

    I look forward to seeing this become more commonplace.

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  6. Guy

    The benefit doesn’t strike me as that large, and more about happenstance.

    I mean, if your RSS Reader doesn’t update without stop, does it truly matter that the RSS Feeds don’t?

    The thing this does is that if you check your Reader, and a feed didn’t update yet, this will help.

    Then again, I use IE8′s inbuilt RSS Reader, and it updates when I tell it to (AND once an hour), but it doesn’t seem like there’s a delay between what shows on the feed after I update the reader and what’s on the sites.
    So I wonder who has the one hour delay, the readers, or the feeds? If the readers, then this hardly matters.

  7. Chriss

    great!!!! good job guys, i was waiting for something like this, lets try out!!!

    sendin’ my thanks from México!!

  8. iaoj

    It sounds complicated but I am bright and hope that day will come when I understand RSS in the clouds.

  9. axewielderx

    I guess it will require time to see just how effective this is.:)

  10. Fran

    yeah!

    greats job!

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  12. Jeremy

    Interesting, I wonder this will alter the way people use RSS. I know I view it more as a news-type thing, where I check it once a day or so, just to see what the various sites I follow posted. I don’t feel a need to check it any more often than that, but maybe that’s just me

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  17. katyallgeyer

    I’m on Cloud 9! Thanks, WP!

  18. myic3site

    I am intrigued with all of this technology and want to stay current as well. Thanks!

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  22. Thoth

    I’d have to say that I find “real time” much less important than “well thought out” – and that’s already scarce enough. Why not work up something like – say – an editing tool that lets you look at a list of your posts and top pages and (1) select a post, (2) select a second post to be linked at the bottom as a “next related post” link, (3) select a third post to be linked at the bottom as “previous related post” and – optionally – a way to insert a link title and an URL to be linked at the bottom? That way a given post could be easily linked to a indexing page or something as well.

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  28. Exodus

    thank you! thank you! i <3 WP! happy labor day! ;-)

  29. Andrew

    Interesting to see where this will lead us.

  30. Vikas Gupta

    Frankly this is the first time I am hearing cloud and RSS in one breath! :o

    I read the read write web article and also explored the other links and am convinced that WP has again stolen a march on competitors! :)

    So thank you; feeling privileged as always! :D

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  32. Moses

    Instant RSS feed… sweet! :)

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  34. Jeremy Visser

    Very interesting. I’m not very immersed in this kind of thing, so I’m not sure what the difference between RSS Cloud and PubSubHubbub. Not sure whether either one is incomplete, or the major differences.

  35. fracas

    It’s always good to know that while we’re slogging away at our thing… you folks are slogging away at yours… making ours less of a slog.

    Thanks!

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  40. misterclu

    The picture is beautiful!

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  44. Digital Subway

    You track 50 million posts each week? That’s very impressive!!

    In the meantime, I wanted to know how do I insert meta tag into my blog in order to allow it to be listed with Google Blogs. I do not host the wordpress blog, I use the free one through the wordpress. Is it possible to insert meta tags or insert some other html codes, if I want. I know how to do it in blogger.

    Thanks.

  45. ian in hamburg

    Great idea. The humble wordpress.com blog surfer is an excellent reader for wp.com blogs, though it doesn’t get much publicity. Updates instantly – or far sooner than my reader, it seems.

  46. Pingback: WordPress is in the RSS Cloud | The Official LexiConn Blog
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  49. Nita

    Hmm, good to know that wordpress is always busy doing something to be on top in technical stuff. Always good to be one of those who start a trend. A service for readers too.

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  56. linuxandfriends

    Really cool feature.

    Thanks

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  59. JalanSutera.com™

    fantastic. I love WP..

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  61. Pablo Melchor

    Nice! It would now be great to be able to track our number of RSS subscribers (even if approximately, just to see trends) without having to use Feedburner

  62. Vincent

    Nice! And great that you’re also going to support the likes of pubsubhubbub, I can’t wait for this to become commonplace.

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  64. gwalter

    Good for you! Way to stay out front. Thank you!

    Isn’t Friendfeed supporting this? And isn’t G-Reader using pubsubhubbub?

    Thanks!

  65. Pingback: WordPress se enfoca en las suscripciones con RSS Cloud | Bitelia
  66. Yasir Imran

    Thank you for adding another nice feature

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  68. javcasta

    Interesting. I will try it.

  69. Brenda Nepomuceno

    Cool! It sounds really useful! Thanks, again, for being such an amazing team! :)

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  72. Tubbo & Dubba Tubba

    Nice. Our readers can’t get enough of us (it isn’t uncommon for them to wait up all night for an update we said might happen), so this is quite a welcome feature.

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  74. nickie wang

    cool, everything’s getting better.

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  81. Mel Ancholy

    This sounds great, thanks WordPress!

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  88. Carlos Jumbo G.

    Good News!! Thanks

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  92. alamendah

    I will try it.

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  97. widi

    Just one word, Cool!

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  100. Pingback: Noticias - Wordpress implementa RSS in the clouds | ENLAZANDOWEB
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