New Twitter and RSS "Firehose" feeds include all headlines

Wednesday, February 13, 2008 3:26AM ET
by Gabe Rivera     Permalink

UPDATE: this post is quite out-of-date now. Please see this post from 2011, which explains why our "firehoses" are no more.

High-volume, "complete" RSS feeds are available now for Techmeme, WeSmirch, memeorandum, and Ballbug. For years, the RSS feed for each site has included the day's most important 20-30 headlines, typically those placed "above the fold". Going beyond 30 headlines would overwhelm most subscribers. This selectivity has a downside: headlines don't appear in the RSS feed until they've amassed enough "importance", so the feed seems "slow". Another, more obvious downside: certain news junkies want to see every last headline that appears.

The new "Firehose" feeds introduced today do just that. Any story attaining headline status on Techmeme (which exclude "Discussion" links) will appear in the feed within 5 minutes. This means well over 100 headlines per day for Techmeme Firehose, so casual news readers will want to use the Main feed (i.e. the previous, standard feed) instead.

Twitter accounts for both Main and Firehose feeds are available as well. Users of Twitter, even more than users of RSS readers, tend to favor a more immediate view of events around them, and some have complained about the "slowness" of the existing Techmeme Twitter account (which is based on the Main feed). Following Techmeme Firehose on Twitter will provide the real-time experience these users crave.

The following table summarizes all the relevant URLs:

Firehose RSSFirehose TwitterMain RSSMain Twitter
Techmeme Techmeme Techmeme
WeSmirch WeSmirch WeSmirch
memeorandum memeorandum
Ballbug Ballbug

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