RSS Bandwidth Issues

The other day, on Scoble’s blog, he announced that MSDN was having problems keeping up with the bandwidth demands of RSS aggregators. Well, if Microsoft can’t handle it, then it’s definitely a problem, right? Many people have chimed in about solutions, mostly involving existing HTTP standards and reducing the size of the feeds served. These are all good ideas. I don’t have time to get into a lot of the technical stuff right now, but one really good recommendation is put forth by FeedDemon’s Nick Bradbury. I’ve recommended the exact same thing to a few people.
Another resource that’s being developed is Sam Ruby’s HTTP Best Practices. He’s applying his usual exceptional thoroughness to documenting the issues (I will always sing Sam’s praises, as his and Mark Pilgrim’s work on syndication test cases has been a tremendous asset to the community).
Unfortunately I don’t have time right now to talk more about this. But these resources should help sites that are having issues dealing with the load from aggregators.

Google Groups 2

Congratulations to Dave, Brandon, Gaku and the rest of the team for launching the beta version of Google Groups 2. I’ve only played with it for a little bit but it looks good so far.
Now here’s one of the really interesting things. The new groups is an intersection of USENET and mailing lists, and every group has two Atom feeds, one for topic summaries and the other for message summaries. This means that you can now subscribe to USENET groups with your favorite Atom-aware aggregator. The format of the URLs for the feeds is:

http://groups-beta.google.com/group/USENETGROUP/feed/topics.xml

http://groups-beta.google.com/group/USENETGROUP/feed/msgs.xml

where USENETGROUP is something like ‘comp.arch’.
It’s not quite perfect yet, but it’s a great start!

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