Becoming the Noise You Once Replaced

For a while I was a big user of RSS & feed readers, sometimes reading over 100 sites a day.

Ever since I went to WMW New Orleans I have not fired up the old feed reader. Each day I neglect it it becomes harder for me to want to turn it on. Many of the posts (and I am just as guilty as everyone else) are things you can get here or there or everywhere else, so on the whole, in some ways, I think blogs are starting to become the noise they replaced (and that does not even include the spam journals).

There is something cool about a clean slate, but that fear of missing something means that in a couple days I will probably read a half of month worth of posts on about 150 blogs.

This has nothing to do with search, but has everything to do with how people organize and digest information. It would be great to see a feed reader that bolded or highlighted posts which were well cited or deemed popular or important by other user set criteria.

Why doesn't one of the feed reader creators partner with Technorati to help create a feed reader that helps point out what is important and needs to be read. Also it would be cool if feed readers would learn reading habbits and help you optimize your way through reading your long list of posts.

There are so many obvious ways to extract meaningful data that are just waiting to be developed. Has Google only ignored this market opportunity because it does not have an associated proven business model yet? Do they not think AdSense for feeds works well enough?

Sorry for the noisy rant post. :)

Published: July 7, 2005 by Aaron Wall in internet


August 2, 2006 - 10:11pm

The psychology of time-poor paralysis of analysis is well dealt with - okay, brilliantly dealt with - in 'Getting Things Dome' by David Allen, which I'm eading at the mo., hence this post - related to RSS feeds only in the concept.

I have literally 10 pages plus of 'Things to do' from family to errands to endless computer tasks ... now, on the RSS side what I want is a reader that gives the whole damn lot on one page rather than having to click through from one summary to a full page, then select another summary and click through to a full page

There is a lot of potential for organising RSS readers based on psychology rather than on programming ability

July 7, 2005 - 2:03pm

Have a try with Rojo - a free web-based RSS reader.

Quoted from
"The only social network for content, help discover what you should be reading."
"Tag and comment on stories for yourself and for others. Use others' tags to find stories that matter to you."

July 7, 2005 - 4:15pm

Totally agree. When everyone starts covering the same Google, Yahoo, and MSN releases everday (among other "news" items) rather than writing original content it gets very boring. I'm real tired of reading the same news in 12 different places. Advice for bloggers: You're not CNN - write original thought content.

I have a list of 150+ feeds I like as well. Too hard to keep up. Need to learn to speed read;)

July 7, 2005 - 8:17pm

I use tags, and then subscribe to the tags I'm interested in via RSS. You can filter by popularity, which is useful and filters out a lot of noise. But what I find most useful, is combining tags at (example: fitness+nutrition) and subscribing to that RSS for even more specificity... also offers some possibilities, but so far doesn't use a RSS feed to deliver the cloud. still, it wouldn't be hard to hack something that combined tag clouds with RSS and a few of the better social bookmarking sites (and possibly the google API) to create something really useful for what you're talking about.

July 8, 2005 - 12:36am

Recently I've been away from my feeds, and I have to admit it was liberating to press the Mark All Read button and see a completely clean slate...

What does that say about how time poor we are when we can't even keep up with headlines without feeling stressed? :)

July 8, 2005 - 8:38pm

I have less than 25 blogs in my reader, yours is one of them Aaron, and I barely have time to skim through them daily. Todd is 100% correct pointing out that most of them just re-iterate the same bit of "news" instead of posting something unique or original. I'd rather blog less but have something worth reading than blog several times a day regarding the "latest" news or pointing to some cute bit of information I found elsewhere.

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