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Okay, I get the general idea of the distributed RSS model that pubsubhubbub uses, but I'm trying to think of a way to "support" a podcast with it. That is, I want to supplement the bandwidth of a podcast I like, but which needs more bandwidth, or is hampered by the cost of publishing. I'm thinking like some kind of guerilla CDN.

I realize it would be simpler to send money to the podcast. That's not the point.

Is this a possibility? Does it make sense? Am I crazy? Thanks!

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So I read about pubsubhubbub, watched their presentation, and even looked into the specs. Why are you trying to use an RSS/Atom distribution protocol with podcasts?

If you want to provide them with more bandwidth why don't you host a copy of the podcasts yourself. They can implement a system on their end that verifies current load against a threshold. When the threshold is met, they redirect visitors to your location where you have a copy. This should be extremely simple.

I mean it doesn't even have to weigh it against a threshold. If you want to offload a percentage of their traffic they can do it with a script on their website. Let's say you want to serve 50% of their traffic. All the script has to do is randomly pick a 1 or a 0. If it is 1, display a link that uses their server, if it's a 0 display a link using your server.

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As Marcin Pawelek said, pubsubhubbub has absolutely nothing to do with what you want to do. Specifically, pubsubhubbub is about minimizing latency, while what you're trying to do is improve the throughput.

As for contributing bandwidth, I thought that bittorrent solved that problem a long time ago...

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