Monday, September 4

Feed Reader Feature Request

I was reading through maybe the third or fourth article in my feed reader about the MySpace music shop, thinking about how I really didn’t care about this particular story, and I didn’t want to read any more about it. Then, when I saw Tim O’Reilly’s piece on Google’s image-tagging game, I thought that it was interesting, and that I’d like to hear what other people have to say about it.

So I want two new operations in my feed reader. “No More!” would mark all other blog posts on a particular subject as read. “What’s All This, Then?” would dig up blog posts about the same subject from other blogs that I haven’t subscribed to.

“No More!” would help me deal with the incoming volume of news, and maybe put a few echo dampeners in the chamber. If my feed reader quickly cut out stuff I don’t want to see any more of, reading the news each day would be that much more enjoyable, since there would be that much less to wade through.

“What’s All This, Then?” would let me easily dig deeper into cool topics right from my feed reader, and help me find new blogs I might want to subscribe to. When I’m reading, I want to stay in the same app. I don’t want to go trawling through search engines to get more info, when everything I want is probably in the reader’s backend.

These two features come down to looking at one role of a feed reader as a — to coin a phase — canal of topics rather than a firehose of posts. My desire is to #1: hear the latest and #2: hear particular people’s take on such. If I don’t care about the story, then I don’t care what even the most insightful luminaries have to say on it. But if I am interested in the topic, give me anything and everything related to it.