To start, RSS is inherently smaller than HTML. HTML include presentation constructs, styles, images, and more which RSS excludes. Right off the bat RSS is a smaller transfer.
You see, while some feed reading clients don’t obey these rules, HTTP has a useful, applicable, and standardized method for handling the repeat requests of static and dynamic content.
Several people have noted how happy they are that FeedTree can turn RSS from a push to a pull mechansim. I don’t like that concept. I like RSS for its meta-data, and for the control I’m afforded because I have complete control over it.
This seems to be a mixture of some misconceptions and personal preferences. FeedTree does not bet on RSS consuming more bandwidth than a webpage, but it can help in reducing the current bandwidth consumption by feeds. This can inherently provide more bandwidth for rest of the activities and improve performance overall. Whether RSS will overtake HTML pages in bandwidth consumption is a point of speculation as RSS is getting popular day by day. Not only for blogs but newspapers or magazines. Even search results are being syndicated using RSS feeds, as mentioned by Jeremy Zawodny.
The other solutions suggested by chuyskywlk like HTTP Caching and emails still put onus on the feed client to get updates. As a subscriber, once I have subscribed to a feed, I would like to receive updates the instant they are published. Why would I want any delay? This becomes more important in cases for prime content where someone else might receive the update but not me due to polling intervals. In all these cases I am inherently dependent on capabilities of my feed reader, which FeedTree tries to reduce by proposing a publisher/subscriber scheme.
The control that chuyskywlk is talking about, can be inconvenience for some. The fact that I have subscribed to a certain feed implies that I am interested in getting the updates. I can appreciate, but not understand, that there might be some instances when someone might want to control when to get updates from the feed. This is a subjective matter and can intrude in the personal preferences space. FeedTree is a good solution for someone who perceives and has urgency of updates.
Additionally, I see a tremendous advantage for the publishers, as FeedTree technology provies better assurance for delivery of content since it is not the prerogative of the feed client to request an update.
Dan Sandler does a good job of clarifying the misconceptions.
Lastly I think, this is currently a research project, and should be applauded for the effort to understand the importance of feeds and try to improve their usage.
I did comment on the the post by chuyskywlk, but thought this deserved more explanation. The condition to register with help.com to just comment on the post was ridiculous though!
Copyright Abhijit Nadgouda.