Dave Winer working on new RSS aggregator?

Looks like Dave Winer is working on a new aggregator. This is cool because his style of “river of news” aggregators is far more appropriate than the “folder by folder” or “3-pane” approach that I’m using currently. Why? The folder-by-folder approach requires you to be pretty anal about reading all your feeds and makes you mentally tired if you fall behind. Sorta like email. It’s to the point sometimes that I dread opening up Outlook.

But 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).

Dave should be at the geek dinner tomorrow night so maybe we’ll learn more there.

Comments

  1. Have you used Onfolio (www.onfolio.com)? There is a feed newspaper view you can use that pretty much sounds like the ‘river of news’.

    The good thing about onfolio is that it also allows you to create stores of information that may be useful to you, for instance web site links, web site content, emails and feeds. All this content is searchable. An absolutely fantastic tool.

  2. Have you used Onfolio (www.onfolio.com)? There is a feed newspaper view you can use that pretty much sounds like the ‘river of news’.

    The good thing about onfolio is that it also allows you to create stores of information that may be useful to you, for instance web site links, web site content, emails and feeds. All this content is searchable. An absolutely fantastic tool.

  3. Use NewsGator with Outlook 2003. Create a separate PST for your RSS feeds and create one base folder. Let NewsGator name the folders automatically. Now create a Search folder in Outlook that lets you see all unread mail in the base folder and its children. Done. Best of both worlds, not to mention NewsGator’s excellent sync with the web reader and other (RSSBandit!) clients.

    I find this approach much more useful and flexible than the “river of news” format, but hey, to each his own, and I am always open to trying new things. I would LOVE to see Outlook 12 support NewsGator though…

    -jlw

  4. Use NewsGator with Outlook 2003. Create a separate PST for your RSS feeds and create one base folder. Let NewsGator name the folders automatically. Now create a Search folder in Outlook that lets you see all unread mail in the base folder and its children. Done. Best of both worlds, not to mention NewsGator’s excellent sync with the web reader and other (RSSBandit!) clients.

    I find this approach much more useful and flexible than the “river of news” format, but hey, to each his own, and I am always open to trying new things. I would LOVE to see Outlook 12 support NewsGator though…

    -jlw

  5. River of News works better if there is some kind of “attention” support. Otherwise, the more feeds you subscribe to the more you dilute the content you’re probably interested in.

  6. River of News works better if there is some kind of “attention” support. Otherwise, the more feeds you subscribe to the more you dilute the content you’re probably interested in.

  7. The “river of news” format is about the most evil presentation of feed reading you can get. Sort of surprised you feel this way. Have you tried a reader with a “mark all read” feature yet? You can still discard massive numbers of feed items if you wish that way, but at the same time, be able to read just the items you care about if you only have a small time period to check feeds in at the moment.

  8. The “river of news” format is about the most evil presentation of feed reading you can get. Sort of surprised you feel this way. Have you tried a reader with a “mark all read” feature yet? You can still discard massive numbers of feed items if you wish that way, but at the same time, be able to read just the items you care about if you only have a small time period to check feeds in at the moment.

  9. Ho Hum, another Aggregator.

    What is it about the industry at the moment. No singular innovation. It’s all, Brand X just made a widget, let’s make a widget too.

  10. Ho Hum, another Aggregator.

    What is it about the industry at the moment. No singular innovation. It’s all, Brand X just made a widget, let’s make a widget too.

  11. Most aggregators I know, support the “River of News” view as well as the folders view. It’s up to you to set it up to match your preference. Some have already commented how their aggregator supports the RON model. I prefer folders but sometimes I’ll go with the RON view. I switch between the two different views by simply selecting an individual folder at a time, or selecting a higher-level folder that contains multiple feeds. I don’t understand people’s claims that aggregators out there force you into folder views.

  12. Most aggregators I know, support the “River of News” view as well as the folders view. It’s up to you to set it up to match your preference. Some have already commented how their aggregator supports the RON model. I prefer folders but sometimes I’ll go with the RON view. I switch between the two different views by simply selecting an individual folder at a time, or selecting a higher-level folder that contains multiple feeds. I don’t understand people’s claims that aggregators out there force you into folder views.

  13. Peter: that is exactly what Dave is trying to break free from, and I think he’ll do it (he has a knack of taking good ideas from the past and breathing new life in to them). Most of the aggregators I’ve seen in recent months suck – and none more so than the many box-on-a-page “Web 2.0″ aggregators that don’t scale beyond about 5 feeds. None of them do what I want them to do. I use Bloglines because it annoys me the least. I’ve tried Radio UserLand, and I like the aggregator but don’t want to use it for my blog. Having an aggregator built in to the OPML Editor will actually be exceptionally useful because I spend an enormous amount of time using it.

  14. Peter: that is exactly what Dave is trying to break free from, and I think he’ll do it (he has a knack of taking good ideas from the past and breathing new life in to them). Most of the aggregators I’ve seen in recent months suck – and none more so than the many box-on-a-page “Web 2.0″ aggregators that don’t scale beyond about 5 feeds. None of them do what I want them to do. I use Bloglines because it annoys me the least. I’ve tried Radio UserLand, and I like the aggregator but don’t want to use it for my blog. Having an aggregator built in to the OPML Editor will actually be exceptionally useful because I spend an enormous amount of time using it.

  15. I don’t understand either. I organize my feeds using NewsGator online into a heirarchy of folders. If I want a “River of News” I just click on a root folder. If I don’t, I click the individual feeds.

    Is this is a solution looking for a problem?

  16. I don’t understand either. I organize my feeds using NewsGator online into a heirarchy of folders. If I want a “River of News” I just click on a root folder. If I don’t, I click the individual feeds.

    Is this is a solution looking for a problem?

  17. NewsFire isn’t pure River of News. It’s two panel. From what I’ve read of Dave’s planned RSS reader, it’s going to be one-panel in much the same style as the Radio UserLand aggregator.

  18. NewsFire isn’t pure River of News. It’s two panel. From what I’ve read of Dave’s planned RSS reader, it’s going to be one-panel in much the same style as the Radio UserLand aggregator.

  19. [...] The aggregator will be in the “river of news” format, as opposed to folder based like Bloglines. The reason? Dave likes it that way. I’ve argued with him over this issue but he assures me that he’s write. Looks like Robert Scoble may agree. This is a matter of personal choice, of course. [...]

  20. [...] Scoble has the first trackback and explains the river of news approach. It is sorta like a daily newspaper. How do you read a newspaper? You scan it! To make it “scanable” you need an editor who decides what the most important story of the day is, and you need journalists that are trained to write in reverse-pyramid style (the important facts of the story are always at the beginning). The River of News works better if there is some kind of “attention” support. So we’re talking about a clever newsreader! [...]

  21. Maybe I’m missing something, but isn’t the Newspaper view of FeedDemon a “river of news” approach? I have around 400 feeds active at the moment, and a single RON view would almost certainly guarentee that I’d miss things. The way FD works is to let you have individual categories – folders – and then just click on the Newspaper view to get a RON for each category. Far, far more efficient than a single-RON approach.

  22. Maybe I’m missing something, but isn’t the Newspaper view of FeedDemon a “river of news” approach? I have around 400 feeds active at the moment, and a single RON view would almost certainly guarentee that I’d miss things. The way FD works is to let you have individual categories – folders – and then just click on the Newspaper view to get a RON for each category. Far, far more efficient than a single-RON approach.

  23. I agree with Ian. With the river of news (which I already have in NetNewsWire) I would most certainly miss something.

    Also the comparison with the newspaper is a poor one. The newspaper comes out once a day, and is static. Even an online newspaper only changes a little bit on a normal day. However, I read around 700 feeds per day, and they change constantly, so you’re never really finished scanning them.

  24. I agree with Ian. With the river of news (which I already have in NetNewsWire) I would most certainly miss something.

    Also the comparison with the newspaper is a poor one. The newspaper comes out once a day, and is static. Even an online newspaper only changes a little bit on a normal day. However, I read around 700 feeds per day, and they change constantly, so you’re never really finished scanning them.

  25. You should try http://rss.searchfox.com. He has an algorithm that gives you a ‘front page’ view of all your feeds. After using his application for browsing your feeds for some time, he begins aggregating items from your feeds that you are most interested in. It’s very nice as I have 150+ feeds.

  26. You should try http://rss.searchfox.com. He has an algorithm that gives you a ‘front page’ view of all your feeds. After using his application for browsing your feeds for some time, he begins aggregating items from your feeds that you are most interested in. It’s very nice as I have 150+ feeds.

  27. It will probably only support RSS feeds. Atom support will probably be left to another developer, or not implemented at all. RSS isn’t the only format. Atom seems to be a more collaborative standard (not designed by one or two people, with updates determined by one person).

  28. It will probably only support RSS feeds. Atom support will probably be left to another developer, or not implemented at all. RSS isn’t the only format. Atom seems to be a more collaborative standard (not designed by one or two people, with updates determined by one person).

  29. 180n.com is a preconfigured river of news website disguised in feedreader form for big M news media. It’s based on something I call WebRSS, which is simply, skipping all the hard parts of RSS & going straight to the benefits of a feedreader.

    Some stuff is still left out, but you can get the drift.

  30. 180n.com is a preconfigured river of news website disguised in feedreader form for big M news media. It’s based on something I call WebRSS, which is simply, skipping all the hard parts of RSS & going straight to the benefits of a feedreader.

    Some stuff is still left out, but you can get the drift.