Google, Twitter, WordPress & Facebook: Publish/Subscribe Matrix Could Explode Into Glass-Smooth Platform

Written by Marshall Kirkpatrick / December 14, 2009 1:25 PM

A storm of news points to a future of frictionless publishing and subscription, across platforms.

Google just announced that its FeedBurner RSS publishing service now supports automatic publishing to a Twitter account. If you’re among the many people who use the service Twitterfeed (like CNN, the WhiteHouse, ReadWriteWeb, etc.) then you may very well find that startup expendable starting now. That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this and a series of related announcements over the past few days.

The new feature looks relatively sophisticated and will use a new URL shortener, FeedBurner has not proven the most reliable service in recent years and is now part of the ad network AdSense, but the little startup Twitterfeed isn’t always reliable either. It does, though, have more incentive to innovate and work in user’s interests. Ultimately, the service you use to publish content updates to Twitter is just a small part of a much bigger story.


The Twitter/FeedBurner integration uses secure OAuth authorization, so you don’t have to give Google your Twitter password. It will check the links coming through that shortened URL for malware and bad sites. Right now other apps won’t be able to use, just Feedburner and Google Toolbar, but that might change in time.

Consider this announcement side by side with the WordPress announcement this weekend that WordPress blogs can now be posted to and read from Twitter clients, the rumor today thatFacebook is experimenting with its own URL shortener, this afternoon’s announcement that the ability to expose your geographic location is now live in Google Toolbar and now longer a Labs product and last week’s go-live of real-time search on Google. All of this combined says one thing to us: the web is getting a whole lot faster and much more free of friction, quickly.

WordPress, Google, Twitter and Facebook will force each other to agree to common standards for reading and writing content updates, those updates will be delivered in real time and the standards will allow an ecosystem of 3rd party client software to proliferate and play along with the big guys. Authentication is being done by OAuth, real-time feeds by RSS, Atom, PubSubHubbub. WordPress is the wild card because it is huge, more supportive than anyone else of Open Source and it could force everyone else to open up to interoperability.

The next step? This morning Google’s Marissa Mayer said in an interview that Google is working hard on intuitive search, the ability to show users what they want before they even have time to search for it.

Publish once and your content is everywhere, immediately. Open your browser and it will show you just the kind of content you need, from all around the web, targeting your particular circumstances like clickstream, social graph and geographic location.

If that’s the kind of platform that’s coming – how will people innovate on top of it? The foundation is being laid right now for a whole new web in the near-term future.

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