Everybody’s made their point about how great RSS (or Atom) feeds are, and how they help folks syndicate content and keep in touch with a lot of websites in a very efficient fashion – problem is that everybody seems to not like to think about how to manage the syndicated content they read. The cool thing about feeds is supposed to be that you get easy access to a large amount of information, which you then should be able to process and digest sooner than you could have by just visiting each individual website and scanning or reading all the articles! With current feedreaders, the usage flow is like that of browsing – just that instead of clicking on, say, a bunch of bookmarks in your browser, you click a bunch of feeds in one panel that then open up a list of articles from the feed(blog) in another panel! It saves you some time, but not too much.
Alright, so you get the feeds from a lot of websites, but right now, things are getting out of control – at least for me they are. I cannot read updates from 200+ websites within an hour. Also, I don’t want to read everything written by everyone I find interesting. When such a large set of data is involved, I would expect to be able to manage and trim the data down according to my personal preferences.
So, basically, can we please have a feedreader with some intelligence, please? RSSOwl is neat in that uses Amphetarate to “rate” articles, but you have to manually rate what you read, and that is such a pain. There is a dropdown menu for the ratings, so it takes a few additional clicks and some moving around of the mouse to rate articles. I dislike how the UI is designed as well, and how one has to double-click a feed to read the contents. Needlessly complicated. Findory.com is neat too, but then it is not easy to use it to read a bunch of blogs. Searching for the blogs you want to read is so difficult in Findory! Adding a set of blogs you want to subscribe to is tough in findory – not intuitive in any case. I would love to see a desktop (or online) feed reader that learns from my behavior – what do I like reading?, what articles do I spend the most time reading?, without having me do anything extra besides just reading the articles in the various feeds. This is the only way I can keep on adding feeds of interesting sites, and hope to catch everything interesting in a reasonable amount of time. I suppose computer science is advanced enough to have thought about problems of organizing large amounts of data in an intelligible fashion, and that there must be folks who work on analyzing and utilizing usage patterns. This will be the next killer internet app – a feedreader that is intelligent, and magically presents you with the most interesting articles published the last day or two – by understanding who you are and what you like.