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Push without notifications

Jeremy Keith writes about some new ideas regarding push notifications on the web. These little blurbs that popup on your screen when a site publishes something new. In a distant past you gave permission to a particuar site to interrupt you when they publish something important (to them) and you get these notifications.

The solution Jeremy and Sebastiaan examine, reminds of the old Push technology, way back in the early days of the web. The desktop was essentially your workplace and you could have dynamic widgets on it with news, weather and other tidbits. There was a great company here in the Netherlands called Bitmagic that provided little nudges of entertainment on your desktop. It would download in the background (back when we just had dial-up modems) and you could watch it offline. This was before we had a daily tsunami of information, washing away clear thinking and processing of what is happening around us.

Jeremy divides the problem in two parts which is actually quite good. Because yes, I’d love to be notified by sites when something happens and they don’t offer RSS or JSON feeds. But I would not like to get a notification on my desktop every time this happens. On a personal level, I don’t believe in the caching solution Jeremy proposes. This is too much of a personal usecase which I don’t see fit for a larger use. But providing options beyond just notification on your desktop is a great way forward.

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