November 19, 2003

Missing the bullseye with the RSS Newsreader clients?

Wow, though reading comments and viewing images from inside a RSS newsreader seems pretty sleek, I'm not really sure if I'm all for that.
I still think the killer functionality will be a properlly done post and news source rating system. Comeon, I want to trim down the ammount of information that I have to digest to get a picture of what everyone is talking about.
How long till we learn from slashdot's threshold system?

What I'm really looking forward for is a reader that will allow the community to collaborativelly rate each post. That way you'll be able to filter noise in the aggregators based on both general consensus (or dominant ideology) your trusted consensus (the people you choose to trust and allow to influence the filtering in your own feed) and personal preferences, creating your own, unique but communally balanced blend of news. mxna rates posts based on click-thourghs, but with this system a popular post doesn't mean it was a usefull one, most time popular posts are the ones with sensasionalist titles which end up having zero content.
The ammount of raw information being bombarded at us on any channel keeps on growing exponentialy, but still, there's nothing wrong about that. Have you ever tryed watching 180 tv channels at the same time on a video wall? no, you always tune into one and if you think about it it's always the tv show that everyone is talking about, and the one that you personally have interest in.

Current RSS Newsreaders are excellent for that, but they only allow you to tune in into channels (each blog) but still don't really help much in trimming the ammount of information a step further.
All that said unless I missed the point and involuntarilly went over the information telling me that something like this actually exists today:P

Posted by marumushi at November 19, 2003 10:27 AM

I completely understand the whole 'overflow' of information thought... with new blogs coming up every day, i agree that we need a rating system of some sort. That's why I went ahead with a blog dedicated to one star in the Flash/Macromedia galaxy - Central. :-)

Posted by: David Bisset at November 19, 2003 12:49 PM

Being able to rate a blog is a great idea, I picture something like Windows Media Player does with mp3s that are loaded onto my system (but offering a bit more info)

I don't think allowing you to see images was a mistake at all, there are image blogs, comic strips etc..For the past month or so I have been reading dilbert every morning from BlogReader and it has changed my life, almost. :)

I think one thing that we implemented that was a great idea was the At-A-Glance view which is an aggregate view of a chosen category.

Anyways blogs can EASILY offer 2 versions of their feeds, one with html and one without, they also have tons of other options such as excerpts etc...

I don't see how its BlogReader's mistake for supporting images, if a blog has a reader base that will dislike images why not just keep them out of the feed? Its not like we are screen scraping.

Posted by: Greg Burch at November 21, 2003 05:32 AM


I never said that displaying images was a mistake. After all, you are right, you can choose what goes and what doesn't into your RSS. But still, that wasn't my point. What I was trying to say is that it wouldn't have been my priority.
Rating is something that seems really obvious these days, but no one seems to be working on it.
The kind of system I was talking about is something probably in between slashdot (threshold), amazon (other people who liked this also liked that) and yahoo! launch.(same as amazon plus you can setup a buddy list who may *influence* what plays in your station )
Although it's true that rating is one of the most difficult tasks, if you are looking for a functionality that no one else seems to be working on, but could make Central a perfect usecase, then I believe that will be the one.

... and yes, I'm prophecising here.

Posted by: marcos at November 21, 2003 11:25 AM
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