PubSub’s numbered days

Rumours have been flying lately about the demise of, writes co-founder Bob Wyman yesterday:

[…] I can’t deny that things are not going well for us. Our days are numbered. A recent attempt to execute a merger has been blocked and we’ve been blocked from raising equity financing that would allow us to continue to pay salaries and pay off our $3 million in debt. Thus, our “doors” will close soon if we can’t find someone to pull us out of the current situation. Persons with fast access to cash and a desire for some of the industry’s best technology are advised to contact us rapidly…

I have to admit that I’ve never really figured out what PubSub offers that Technorati, say, doesn’t in terms of search and RSS delivery.

For instance, I have a few PubSub searches set up and get the results via RSS, yet the results are largely the same as those I get from Technorati watchlists I have for the same search terms. So why use PubSub?

Still, it’s sad to see what looks like the imminent demise of a company that has been one of the pioneers in social media services, especially where top-level infighting is being aired so publicly.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. David Tebbutt

    I think the difference is ‘real time filtering’ of the stream of news. No delay, instant notification. This would appeal to some people – traders perhaps. I’m no expert but that’s my understanding of the essential difference.

  2. Chris Thilk

    I don’t use PubSub much for searches or such – those are strictly through Technorati for me. What I do like about PubSub is their community lists. I use those all the time for finding blogs in a specific vertical. PubSub’s lists are much better, IMO, than Technorati’s since they’re overseen by a, you know, person.

  3. Kami Huyse

    I also liked the idea of a service that would arrange the silos of bloggers by topic area and give some sort of idea of influence, popularity, or whatever you might call it. I liked the research oppotunity that it presented to segment the blogging world into accessible communities.

    The link rank thing I always took with a grain of salt, but the other aspects made sense to me and the human editor helped to keep folks from hijacking the list with bogus tags. There were some sites that slipped in that weren’t blogs, but all-in-all, the site had some uses in that way.

    I never liked the search function though.

  4. neville

    I’ve never really used PubSub beyond search/results delivery. So perhaps I’ve missed much of its probable appeal (thanks for the explanation, David).

    I look at those community (popularity) lists from time to time but definitely with a pinch of salt as you say, Kami. Or perhaps not, Stuart ;)

    Chris, I magine you might find those lists especially useful for what you’re doing at Bacons. Do you find it complementary to other such resources, eg, BlogPulse?

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