Friday, October 07, 2005

Weblogs 2.0

Infrablog reported Word is out, and it’s true: VeriSign has acquired the assets of Dave Winer’s I’m sure Dave will have plenty to say on the subject, but this past year has reached a point where Dave needed to either a) invest significant capital into the development of Weblogs 2.0 – a ping server to handle the next several years of traffic growth, b) sell it to someone else who would do the same, or c) watch as the current system slowly (or maybe quickly) succumbed to the ever-growing stream of pings. Last Thursday processed just under 2 million (1.96M) pings for the day. When we started talking with Dave, a couple months back, the ping totals were barely half of that, and the load even then on the servers made pinging weblogs a chancy proposition during peak posting times (late morning and mid-evening in the US). For a long time, ping servers could be stood up as a single box running on a fast business DSL connection. Those days have passed at least for the popular ping servers; pings are well on their way to requiring serious infrastructure.

Our Vision for

  • Free
    Basic pings, the messages processed by, will remain free to submit, and free to retrieve from the service. Over time, we plan to offer value-added services to publishers and consumers that we can charge a fee for, in much the same way companies like Yahoo! provide basic email services for free, and offer premium “upgrades” for a fee (e.g. extra storage, domain hosting, integrated website, etc.) But pings will remain free; our goal is to make the best, most widely used ping server available.
  • Open
    We are strong believers in standards and open computing. We’ll keep the XML-RPC format Dave Winer built around, and add to it, with additional services that leverage and extend the usefulness of pings.

Chris Abraham published a list of ping servers you should add to your blogging software, and published this writeup on what a ping server is.

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