Silly question for the day

If people are concerned about the amount of bandwidth that is being used by RSS feeds being downloaded every hour or whatever to check for changes, then why doesn’t the next version of the RSS specification just implement a “ask me again in x minutes” field? I’ve read the RSS spec a while ago, and I don’t remember anything like that being there, although I might just be senile (I haven’t checked that it really isn’t there before writing this).

It just strikes me as silly that my aggregator pulls updates for every feed every 90 minutes (that’s what I configured it to) when some feeds clearly change every 10 minutes, all day (think news sites), some feeds update a lot during business hours (think of those corporate bloggers out there — even I don’t tend to write much when I’m asleep), and other sites only update every couple of days. Surely the only person who knows how often they’re likely to update their blog is the person writing it? Also, it would mean that people who are concerned about bandwidth usage, but do update often (like Robert Scoble) could just implement some form of tapering by telling people to not download a new copy of the XML file every 12 nanoseconds.

Then we could wait a couple of years. And then punish the aggregators who don’t respect our wishes like Slashdot does now.