The noise reduction system

David Risley this morning wrote about all the noise in all these systems like Twitter and FriendFeed. Of course that kicked off a whole discussion over on FriendFeed.

Oh, the glorious noise! Everyone loves beating me up for causing the noise. No, I am not the cause. I pass it along. You should see my inbound streams. Every second or two a new Twitter is aimed at me. Every few seconds, a new blog post comes into Google Reader. Every few seconds, a new thing on FriendFeed.

24 hours a day of noise. And we’re not even counting the professional noise over on TechMeme and Google News.

Buried by noise.

So, how do we get out?

Well, we have a couple of choices.

1. We can choose to remain ignorant. Billions of people choose this route every day. Pop open a beer and pretend nothing interesting is happening in the world. That explains why American Media would rather talk about Britney Spears than about anything really important (like what Barack Obama’s new policies are).

2. We can try to swim in all the noise and soak it in. That’s what I do, but only a small number of people are going to have time or willingness to do that.

3. We can build noise reduction systems. Techmeme is one such system. It shows you only what the bloggers think is important. Google News is another. That shows you only what professional journalists think is important (or, at least their algorithms are designed to show you that and, while the algorithms don’t always match real-world behavior, they do get close enough to have high value).

4. We can use search to only present high value items. For instance, let’s say you work for my sponsor, Seagate, wouldn’t you be very interested in only items that mention Seagate? Like this search on TweetScan? Yes, you would. There’s still SOME noise there, but a lot less for someone interested in stuff about Seagate than there is coming through, say, TwitterVision, which shows a random selection of all Tweets being posted in the last few minutes.

The problem? Twitter and FriendFeed have brought new noise into our lives (at least for the early adopter types) and there aren’t good ways to reduce the noise.

But FriendFeed shows us a way out. How about seeing only posts that have at least two “likes?” Isn’t that a way to reduce the noise? Yes! In fact, my eyes are already doing that. I scan the page of FriendFeed looking for things that stick out of the noise and I’ve noticed that items with lots of votes and lots of comments stand out.

Tonight I’ll be attending a FriendFeed party and I’ll ask them just what their plans are in terms of giving us new views into their streams of info: one with noise, one with noise removed. Yes, of course I’ll post videos to my Qik feed and they get forwarded to my FriendFeed account too (which shows up on my blog’s sidebar too). More noise ahead! 🙂

What kinds of noise reduction systems are you seeing? What kinds do we need?

Oh, and here’s a FriendFeed search for all items that include the word “noise” in them. That’s one reason I wrote this post. The noise has our attention and we need to damp it back down.

UPDATE: In just half an hour we’ve gotten tons of more comments on this blog post over on FriendFeed.

UPDATE 2: another way to remove noise is to just watch the things I’m commenting on or liking. That ensures that my noise isn’t there, and that I’ve hand filtered the noise for you. Another way? Don’t subscribe to many people, just to people you know will provide you interesting stuff and little noise.

Commenting on the news

OK, over the past few hours I’ve gone crazy with Google Reader’s shared note feature. You can see how I’m using it on my shared items feed, which has a cool new ninja design (another new feature shipped yesterday).

It’s interesting, but leaves me wanting a LOT more.

For instance, if you share an item, add a note, I can’t pass those notes along to my readers. I can on FriendFeed, though.

I also can’t edit my notes. You can on FriendFeed though.

I also can’t comment on your notes without resharing an item, which causes duplication of an item if I’ve already shared it. You can do that on FriendFeed, though.

Are you noticing a theme? Is it any surprise that I’m seeing lots of early adopters move their reading behavior from Google Reader onto FriendFeed?

Discuss this either here, or over on my FriendFeed discussion page (which I call the World Wide Talk Show).

Google Reader's new "share note" feature: the video review

I love the idea of Google Reader’s new “share note” feature, but find it lacking in implementation — watch along in this video review.

What’s really wrong with it?

1. It’s breaking on my machines. No way to cancel note that I can see, and UI is not coming up. I’m sure that’s a temporary problem, so let’s discount that.

2. It’s causing a LOT of new duplication of items (which was a major problem in Google Reader before this, but is even worse after). Why? Well, I share one item, then I decide “I’d like add a note to that” so I click “share with note.” Now it shares it again with the note added on.

3. No way I can see of removing the note once it’s shared.

4. Unlike FriendFeed, I can’t add a note to other people’s shared items.

5. Unlike FriendFeed we can’t see threaded discussion under the headlines.

6. I can’t figure out a keyboard shortcut.

Speaking of FriendFeed. Check out the commentary about this feature. I’m sharing the best sites I see that talk about it. Welcome to the World Wide Talk Show.

UPDATE: I just added a video comment on TechCrunch’s post about this. Seesmic posts are pretty cool. This time the actual UI worked fine, but the post was shared twice.

The First FriendFeed Event: MSFT and YHOO

Well, just spent the past four hours watching FriendFeed for interesting discussions about the Yahoo/Microsoft deal. This is the result. Page-after-page of conversations. It’s like a new talk show. There’s even an audio talk show that I participated in during this time. Do you see it on the feed? This is the new conversation. Now compare to Techmeme’s conversations about the same. It has a totally different feel, don’t ya think?

Which do you find more interesting, why?