On Not | Mo Chit

September 24, 2004

RSS == Hourly DDoS attack? I saw Nick Bradbury's post, RSS Hype, where he methodically explains why Jim Rapoza's "Don't Believe RSS Hype" is just plain ignorant. There's no use paying lip service to those kinds of people, but I did remember something that's troubled me for a while. People keep on talking about the hourly surge in RSS traffic from newsreaders updating.

This doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Wouldn't you expect to see a pretty even distribution of traffic over the hour? Maybe other newsreaders only update at the top of the hour, but I'd be hard pressed to believe that. Gush updates news feeds by periodically looking to see how long ago the feed was last updated and then downloading if the last update was over a certain period of time.

I'm pretty sure that most other newsreaders work like Gush does so this hourly surge must be pure crap. Granted, RSS feeds may still use a lot of bandwidth, but the RSS/Atom download distribution should be uniform over the hour. I'll take a look at our Atom/RSS download stats and see if this is correct.

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