New feed reader ideas for the new year?
It’s 2005 now, soon to be 2006. In the four years since Radio 8, there have been lots of aggregators, but honestly, not so many new ideas.
Source: Dave’s Wordpress Blog » Why I’m working on an aggregator
Dave's got it completely right, and I'm eager to see what he's got brewing. I lived a lot of hours within Radio UserLand, so he was certainly on to something. This seems like another good opportunity to rant a bit about my wishes for aggregators...
...a river of news approach is more discardable, sorta like a daily newspaper. Does anyone get itchy if they don’t read every last story in a newspaper? No! You read what you have time for, which is why there’s an editor who decides what the most important story of the day is, and why journalists are trained to write in reverse-pyramid style (the important facts of the story are always at the beginning).
Source: Scobleizer - Microsoft Geek Blogger » Dave Winer working on new RSS aggregator?
I've brought up the notion of the journalist's inverted pyramid before with respect to news aggregators. This is what I think the River of News (ie. Radio UserLand / newsRiver) is missing, and the 3-Pane Aggregator (ie. NetNewsWire / FeedDemon) can provide. There is no priority in the River of News—while you can generally sort feeds into folders in the 3-Pane Aggregator.
So, in my use of NetNewsWire, I've got a sort of prioritized Swamp of News. I have organized my feeds into a set of folders in prioritized order. I start from the first folder, and work my way down—but if I haven't read everything by the end of the day, I hit "Mark All as Read" with no regrets.
Unfortunately, these articles don't go away automatically and the place can get a little smelly & stagnant. I've got an idea percolating to write an AppleScript to do that for me, but it's a slight pain. Also unfortunately, I can't quite get NNW's combined outline view to work to my satisfaction—so my view's still subdivided up into headline and preview pane chunks, somewhat more like a marshy delta than a rushing river.
What I really want is a River of News view that's got prioritized layers. That is, there should be strata to this River. Tasty foam up toward the top, attention-consuming undertow toward the bottom.
Near the surface, I can sip from all my highest-value feeds—daily comics and amusements, my synthetic popular links feed, server monitor feeds, ego-surfing search feeds, high-signal news feeds.
Further down, I can slip into the top layers of the blogosphere, if I have time. Then, should I happen to get through everything interesting from there, I can start dipping into the high-noise segment of my feeds.
So, some days, I might only have time to sample a few comics and catch the day's hot memes. Other days, I might be able to graze all the way down to my random Feedster search feeds on "Ray Kurzweil" and "Tinderbox". In any case, the river should flow without my urging it on. For each of these strata, I want a River of News user interface, but I want the segmentation provided by folders in a 3-Pane Viewer.
Still, though, there's something missing even from a Stratified River of News. Sometimes, there are things I'd really like to catch from the very bottom of the river that I'll never personally have time to find. It'd be nice if this River had some turbulence and mixing between the strata.
But that's a subject for a follow-up rant involving machine learning, filtering, and adaptivity built into the aggregator...
The problem with feed readers is that, although they help us to organize our information feeds, they don't address the root problem of reducing the amount of information we have to take in. For that, we need so much more: aggregation, filtering, deduplication and probably a bit of old-fashioned human editing as well, all delivered with intuitive, drag-and-drop simplicity into applications that help us organize and respond to the information that matters to us.
Source: » Death of the RSS reader | Software as services | ZDNet.com
I'll leave it at that, for now.