For a lot of people, PubSubHubbub is something that should mostly work with the social web. However, when you think about it, it is actually much wider, as it relies solely on feeds, without caring much about the semantics of this feed.
Today, I’d like to introduce you to BlameStella. They’re a company that does website monitoring. They will make sure that a website is up and will tell you where it is slow, if it is. Everyone who has ever created a web application knows how important it is to keep track of the speed of their website. BlameStella goes a little beyond, by telling you if it’s a network issue, an app issue or a download issue. You can also see the headers and the content of the page.
But what makes Blame Stella even more interesting is that they have Atom feeds for the reports that they generate each time they poll your page. And guess what? These feeds have a PubSubHubbub hub!
This is great, because, on top of getting email alerts, I can do any type of feed based alerts. For example, I can hook this feed to the AlertMachine iPhone App to get realtime notifications on my phone. I also subscribed to it via Notifixlite so I get instant reports in my IM client (and growl too!).
Finally, for the sake of transparency, we’ve also hooked that up into a Status.net website which is in charge of telling the world how fast or slow our app is. It’s quite simple : create an Status.net account, then, head over to the mirroring tab (under account). It will let you enter the url of any PubSubHubbub feed. Status.net will subscribe to the hub and, as soon as notifications comes in, it’s echoed under the status.net account.
By making their feeds PubSubHubbub enabled, BlameStella is leaving the door open for any kind of notification, as they provide the provide a mechanism that anybody can implement in their apps. If you’ve got a web app, and if you publish feeds, please make these feeds realtime!