2004.07.12

I’m finding the aggregator space more interesting nowadays than the weblog software space. Years ago a lot of people wrote their own weblog software, and people would come up with ideas, and others would implement the ideas in their home-brewed weblog software. There wasn’t really the commercial end of it that there is now. It was a feature-race, but with a friendly face attached to it. Hmmm, maybe it’s just me…

Anyway, the aggregator landscape seems to be changing on a weekly, if not daily, schedule. I’ve been using aggregators since 2000 or earlier. Not counting the Netscape and UserLand offerings (or my own aggregator named poorly enough “channels”) I’ve toyed with AmphetaDesk, NetNewsWire, Bloglines, a few others I’ve forgot the names of, and more recently Feed on Feeds.

As mentioned previously, I’ve been hacking at Feed on Feeds a bit, molding it to what I want for an aggregator. I’ve been taking ideas from the aggregators I’ve used in the past, and some ideas from other places (like AmphetaOutlines) and my own crazy ideas.

I’ve already made a bunch of UI and functional changes to Feed on Feeds, so that it’s not quite Feed on Feeds anymore, and really needs a new name.

I’ve added clickcounts, so it’ll keep track of how often I follow links to the original site. Of course some of the feeds are full entries, and some are just abstracts, still, this might show how often I follow a link to a site.

I’m working on creating a per-feed update schedule, since some feeds I want updated once an hour (favorite weblogs) and some I don’t care if they get updated once per day (like search results for keywords, top new stories, etc.) I could even allow some to update every X minutes (5, 10, whatever) if it’s coming from my own systems and frequent polling is an OK thing.

I’m interested in using the data from Technorati, Feedster, blo.gs, and del.icio.us in interesting ways. I might try to use Phil’s PHP blo.gs blogroll to see how I could tie blo.gs’s site update polling data into things. I’m more than happy to find other people’s code to glue together, as this has also become a PHP learning project for me.

I think what I’ve gotten out of this so far is that aggregators still have a long way to go, and that’s not to say they aren’t very good yet, that’s just to say that I see incredible possibilities in this space. Good Luck, aggregators of data!

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