What's all the hubbub about PubSubHubbub?

Friday, July 10, 2009 | 10:20 AM

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One of the questions we get from publishers most often is "How do I make sure updates to my feed are delivered to feed readers as fast as possible?" We know this is important to our publishers' businesses and we are constantly making improvements to our back-end systems to minimize the time from when you publish a post to when it appears to subscribers in feed readers.

Recently there have been a lot of developments around the so-called "real-time" web. The promise of the real-time web is distributing new information as quickly as possible. This encourages users to engage in more active participation online and makes the web more dynamic than ever before. However, so far the real-time web has not been easily accessible by feed publishers using their existing infrastructure.

Today we're happy to announce initial support in FeedBurner for the PubSubHubbub protocol. 'Hubbub is an open specification in draft for web-scale publish and subscribe. The protocol can be used to transform any existing Atom and RSS feed on the web into a real-time stream. Best of all, it's open, free, and decentralized like the rest of what makes the web so great: No single organization controls the protocol or how it's used.

As of right now, burned feeds with the PingShot service enabled are automatically enhanced with the PubSubHubbub protocol. We'll add the required discovery elements to these feeds and notify a Google-run Hub, running on App Engine, of publish events. We also convert any pings we receive into 'Hubbub events. That means for many of our publishers out there, your existing feeds are available as real-time streams right now. Like, immediately. This very moment.

If you are a publisher and are not already using our PingShot service, turning it on is easy. From feedburner.google.com, visit the Publicize tab for your feed, select PingShot, and click the [Activate] button at the bottom of the page. From your AdSense account, go to Manage Ads, then click View Feed Stats link, and do the same thing. That's it.



If you manage a service that would like to receive updates to the millions of FeedBurner feeds that use this service as soon as possible, or just want to know more about the PubSubHubub protocol, we encourage you to check out our project on Google Code. There are open-source clients for Python, Perl, PHP, Ruby, and WordPress. We have an open-source reference implementation of a Hub built on Google App Engine. And there are other Hub implementations built and run by other companies. Please let us know what you think in the PubSubHubub Google Group!

17 comments:

guillermo-esteves said...

Lately I've noticed that my new blog posts show up in Google Reader almost instantly. I guess this explains it. Excellent! Great job, guys.

Debnath said...

Yes, my blog posts also show up in Google reader but sometimes it takes some time to display. Maybe this is due to my internet connection. Nice stuff indeed.

mamdoh said...

.: yesterday i'm publishing my new blog and burn my feeds at feedburner. Using firefox extension that can view my feeds on my browser sidebar, i found that my newest blog feeds is available almost instantly. Super Great job guys!! i love this stuff! ;-) thank you so much for the service! :.

Tarun.Reflex said...

i have been puzzled for quite a time trying to figure out the time difference between post publishing and feed updating and used Windows Live writer and Autopinger to ping multiple pingServers. i guess i wont be needing them now.
Thanks.

David Apperson said...

Good Information. Great Service. Thanks Google.

Peter said...

Dear Feedburner Team,
This all sounds really good, but what to do when I can't see or do anything with my feed since migrating it to Google?

All I've been offered to do since then is claim my feed (which you say I shouldn't do) or burn it (which I can't again). You've said somewhere long ago that the problem is solved - well, it's not.

I realize that this is somewhat off topic and I apologize, but since you apparently don't offer any other support than the Google group, which you don't seem to respond to (correct me if I'm wrong), desperation have me try this way around.

Please contact me asap via peterkrogholm ( at ) gmail.com.

Regards,
Peter Krogholm

JMember said...

Why doesn't feedburner activate this option as default?

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http://JMember.blogspot.com

Matt Shobe said...

@JMember: Fair point, it probably is a good default for most publishers, but our general philosophy of keeping publishers in control of their content means that we don't turn on most of our services by default, leaving that decision to you. So this one's more a point-of-view than a technical constraint.

(As stated in the post, though, PubSubHubbub is automatically part of PingShot - no separate activation is necessary within the PingShot service's settings.)

ericwsmith said...

There's alot of "my Google Reader updates instantaneously now!" comments above--but why? Most clients are behind a firewall which means that polling is still a fact of life, despite PubSubHubbub.

Akshay S Dinesh said...

Thank you very much. Earlier I used to not see the latest posts by my online friends in their blogs because of this time lag. Now, I can reply as soon as they post. Thanks again.

Holte Ender said...

My new posts are not showing up on the side bar of my readers, so my traffic is down because they do not think I have posted. What could be wrong?

えど said...

I use FeedBurner to publish my feed of WordPress (using plugin FeedSmith). I set PingShot option active, but PubSubHubbub don't work correctly.

I checked "Publisher Diagnostics" on PubSubHubbub server (http://pubsubhubbub.appspot.com/publish)
and found out that notification to server is performed by using "old" FeedBurner URL (http://feedproxy.google.com/...).

I think it should be perform by using current FeedBurner URL (http://feeds.feedburner.com/...).
I wish this problem will be solved in future...

jg said...

ericwsmith: Being behind a firewall does not necessitate polling. The client could open a streaming keep-alive connection to the server and thereby receive updates in real-time, just like in any MMO or streaming video service.

I haven't heard of a 'Hubbub implementation that supports this, but it seems like the logical next step.

えど said...

Problem about PubSubHubbub notification I had encountered is now solved! Thank you for the work of the FeedBurner support team!

abx537 said...

I've done the ping shot, pinged my xml, and myyahoo and igoogle are still over 5 hours old. I'be checked Feedburner and the most recent xml is there. What else do I have to do.

Christina Fu said...

Hi, I just blogged the same topic today at http://geekatwork.wordpress.com/2010/03/04/pubsubhubbub/

Jon Robet said...

Thank you very much. Earlier I used to not see the latest posts by my online friends in their blogs because of this time lag. Now, I can reply as soon as they post. Thanks again.