2005.09.26

Dave does like to go on about the River of News, and he does once again. What’s a “River of News” you say?

…there’s another kind of reader, an aggregator, that works differently, and I think more efficiently for the human reader. Instead of having to hunt for new stories by clicking on the titles of feeds, you just view the page of new stuff and scroll through it. It’s like sitting on the bank of a river, watching the boats go by. If you miss one, no big deal.

I sometimes think Dave’s thinking is clouded by, well, by being Dave. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s just what I’ve noticed. Maybe it’s just because I, and most people I know, are not like Dave. We have jobs we go to everyday, and other responsibilities that take precedent over spending hours watching a river go by…

I’ve used “river of news” aggregators in the past, and what I didn’t like about them was that they seem to take the approach that you’ve set aside a huge chunk of time for reading, or that if you miss something, that’s ok. In some cases it is ok to miss things, but there are some feeds I never want to miss an item from. Like the ones from friends of mine who publish less than once a month. I want to see the name of their site in bold text on the left side of my aggregator. As for the time factor, I also like the fact that I can use my aggregator to show all sites/feeds I rate as 5 stars, with how many new items they have, and selectively view a few if I have just a minimal amount of time to spare, like on a lunch break.

I’m not against the “river of news” but it’s just doesn’t work for me at this time. Perhaps when my daily responsibilites are reduced and my focus is almost completely on writing weblog posts, I’ll reconsider it…

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