At our Real-Time Stream CrunchUp event last month, one of the most interesting things that was demoed was PubSubHubbub, a new protocol made by a few Googlers in their spare time to improve the speed at which Atom and RSS items travel around the web. As expected, they have a big player on their side now: Google Reader.
The Reader team notes today that it has begun the adoption of PubSubHubbub, starting with the publishing of Shared Items. As you can see in the demo video below, with PubSubHubbub support, when you share an item in Google Reader, it instantaneously shows up on services like FriendFeed (which pull in Reader Shared Items).
While this is just for Shared Items right now, you can imagine that Google Reader will add further support as well in time. It really needs to in order to keep up with the speed at which information is traveling around the web on sites like Twitter, Facebook and FriendFeed.
And while this is a side project by some Google employees (PubSubHubbub) working on a Google application (Google Reader) and shown off on a service started by a bunch of ex-Googlers (FriendFeed), the main idea behind PubSubHubbub goes far beyond that. They want the fully open protocol to be used by all services/sites that work with feed items to make them more real-time. As one of the creators, Brad Fitzpatrick said during our event, “Nothing in the protocol hardcodes Google as the center of the world, I hate that sort of crap too.“
See the FriendFeed demo as well as the CrunchUp demo below.