Social Blog Aggregators Revisited

Recently, there’s been a number of interesting posts on building personal blog aggregators. This really does seem like the next thing that is going to make some blog company succesful since just there’s just too many feeds to read. Global aggregation and popularity engines like Digg and Techmeme only adds material to read.
I’m sure hundreds of people have had ideas along these lines long since, but this particular strand of meme starts with a request from Ross Mayfield for myMeme, not a personalized version of TechMeme, but a socialized one – “what are people I read, reading”. Sam Ruby promptly put together a prototype implementation based on his feed subscriptions which seems to work — but Gabe Rivera of Techmeme is not convinced by the example. His contention is that Ruby’s example only picks out news that TechMeme was already picking up.

Rivera does have a point — indeed Ruby’s output looks like just the tip of the Digg iceberg, but depending on your goals this might not be a problem. The problem with unread news is not that it is unwritten, but that it is drowning in all the other news. I’d settle for a meMeme that worked as a reliable garbage detector.

  • Perhaps it’s just me, but basing news filtering on “what are people I read, reading” seems pointless. If you do the math with that idea, it’ll work out that almost everyone will be reading the same things, which is the problem we already have with sites like Digg.. so no problem is solved.

  • Peter, I’m as wary of echo chambers as the next person, but evene so what you’re saying is like saying Amazon social filtering for book shopping could never work because people would end up buying the same things.
    I dont think – and am not suggesting – that this would be the only news source people would or should use.

  • One possible way to esolve it is to bring editors back in doing the job they used to do – by the way I don’t regard Netscape’s editors as supplying that old judgmental function. It needs to be people who scan aggregators and buzz sites, and who can say – here’s set of posts you really need today. It might not become a huge Web 2.0 play but it is what newspapers did for a century and a half.

  • haydn, i wouldn’t be surprised if specifically news international will do that — mash up the times of london with myspace.

  • I am missing something. Can you not already accomplish this functionality via Digg allows you to establish a network of people you want to monitor (your friends). Then you can see what items they are digging. Or, is the overall objective to establish a site neutral method of publishing and reviewing this information so that the information can be obtained from personal blogs along with digg or reddit or where-ever?

    I believe this goal is fruitless. The value of a social network is participation. If I am able to read what my network is reading, then all the junk articles are not filtered. I have no understanding of why my network thought the article was interesting. Instead of concentrating on keeping up with the Jones, we should appreciate the efforts of the Jones to filter and comment on the subject which adds the real value of the social network. Focus on contributing to the network, not one upping it.

  • The same thing could be applied to If you could just get an aggregate of all your friend’s bookmarks (or at least the ones you thought were finding good content) and search through what they were bookmarking. The problem is that you would probably just end up with more things to read, unless they were very selective.

    I don’t believe that you would end up reading the same thing. I have group of friends that e-mail each other articles, and though we have common interests I am always surprised by how often they find something I had never seen. The internet is a big enough place that we won’t all be stumbling across the same content.

    I’m sure this exists somewhere, but I wrote about a concept to use social networks to find information, news, etc on certain topics here

  • Nice