It’s just data


FeedMesh is a group working to establish a "peering network" for decentralized web(site|log) update notifications and content distribution.

The initial discussion happened on Sept 10th at Foo Camp. Companies and representatives involved so far are: Scott Johnson (Feedster), Mark Fletcher (Bloglines), Jim Winstead (, Jeremy Zawodny (Yahoo!).

The current plans are to stage the implementation into a series of concrete, tangible steps.

The consensus is that the sharing of weblog update notifications ("pings") would be a good first step. This will have two immediate and tangible benefits for sites that aggressively crawl feeds: reduced bandwidth (by sharing the load) and lower latency (e.g., bloglines can get data in near realtime instead of polling every hour).

A rough sketch of what this would entail is the creation of a single URI for people to ping ( which would be backed by the members of the "peering network" via round robin DNS.  The recipient of a ping would be expected to validate the ping, make a reasonable attempt to normalize the site name to utf-8, and then pass the ping information to all the other members of the peer network.  Instead of separate HTTP requests per ping, it is likely that each member of the peering network will have a socket continuously open with
each of other members across which this information will be sent.

Follow-on steps may include the sharing of content between the peers (possibly using pubsub over XMPP), and ultimately the sharing content with aggregators running on end user desktops.

We have a temporary Yahoo! Group setup to facilitate e-mail discussion after Foo Camp is over.