You may have seen that I subscribe to RSS feeds through Bloglines. I was pretty busy during December and January so I rarely checked Bloglines and even when I checked it I didn't read much. I checked it out today and I had almost 5000 unread posts… wow! And I don't even think that is an accurate number because Bloglines limits the number of unread posts to 200. So many of my subscriptions maxed out quickly (e.g., TechCrunch). I think it may take me a while to catch up, but I'm going to try.
I know there are many important things that I have missed during this time (e.g., news, discussions, ideas, controversy), but I also feel like maybe some of these subscriptions are simply a waste of time. I am considering trying to trim the fat by removing at least 12 subscriptions. I simply do not have the time required to keep up with that many posts. As I go through them I find myself skipping many of the posts because I am not interested in their content.
It makes me think that maybe the current process of subscriptions is broken… There must be a better way. For example, Slashdot implements a feature for comments that hides things below your current viewing threshold. This is great because it allows me to skip over comments that other people have not found useful and that presumably I am not interested in. The approach uses the concept of wisdom of crowds, so why can't we have something similar for blogs (or RSS in general)? Maybe there is already something out there already like this. If so, let me know about it in the comments. I would love a service that could provide this.
The service I am envisioning would apply blog post ratings from other users, maybe from my “trusted” network, to the subscriptions I already have. It might introduce a per user recommendation feed that I could subscribe to. I know that there are way too many people out there with their heads stuck in the blogosphere… and I could leverage their lack of social life. It might rely on a taxonomic or folksonomic approach or maybe a blend of the two. I suppose this is in essence the Digg or Del.icio.us approaches, but applied as a filter in front of my subscription service (i.e., Bloglines). Possibly with elements taken from StumbleUpon, but I don't need to actively use it because I already subscribe to the posts. It would be great to, on a per post basis, say that I liked the content or not and have that affect my future content (e.g., Pandora).
Just some stream of consciousness there, but let me know what you think of this idea. And hey, if you're interested in funding something like this…
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