Push vs. Pull on the Internet

A long time ago, I don’t think people gave push vs. pull systems too much thought when it came to the internet.  You searched for information via a search engine, visited web sites and checked your email.  Now, however, it seems that we are presented with two overall systems for accessing the information we want.

Push vs. Pull (as defined by me):

Push: The internet or program pushes the information to YOU.

Pull: YOU go and search for the information you want or need.

If you are interested to know how Wikipedia defines it (as marketing or supply chain terms) visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/push-pull_strategy

So based on the definitions given above, let’s look at a few examples:

– RSS Feeds
– SharePoint intranet portal (with or without alerts)
– FaceBook
– Email
– Internet Searching

Internet Technology Push / Pull Reason
RSS Feeds Push You sign up for which RSS feeds you want to receive, by using your favourite aggregator (such as the built-in Latest Headlines aggregator of Firefox, or a job search aggregator, or Bloglines, FeedDemon, or Google Reader ).
SharePoint Intranet Portal Push or Pull depending on whether or not you use alerts If you are using SharePoint for your company intranet or knowledgebase portal, this is basically a pull system, unless you are using alerts to alert you of new content added – then it becomes a push system.
FaceBook Push In my opinion, FaceBook is a push system, because of the frequency in which people update their status updates and add content.
Email Push Email is a push system, especially if you receive newsletters or articles via email, and it also depends on the frequency in which you check it.
Internet Searching Pull Google and Internet Searching is pull, since you are entering in a sequence of search terms, and pulling in the information you requested.

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