Scoble leads a discussion on aggregator overload...how we're all getting firehosed by RSS and what we can do about it.
"I want the raw you...unfiltered. Filters throw a way "random stuff" that I like to discover."
"I catch a lot of the 'long tail' stuff using filters at Feedster. It's 'purified sugar'"
Bob Wyman, PubSub: "very very dangerous to let aggregators make decisions about what you should read. Even the fact that a story was duplicated in a search or something is possibly useful....."
Winer cuts off Wyman for getting too commercial -- he says "only users should participate." Aren't we all users, Dave? Entire room gets decidedly uncomfortable, bristles at suggestion that vendors aren't users (duh).
Scoble: "I use repetition to help tell me what's important in the blogosphere." Redundancy is data, after all.
Steve Gillmor: brings up attention.xml as a multi-vendor solution to infoglut, metadata management problem. "I have 144,000 unread marks in NetNewsWire. Attention.xml is proposed as a standard that tells you what you've read, in what order, for how long." I think I need to learn more about what's going on that space.
longhaired blogger developer (steve?): "huge privacy issues with sharing attention.xml as it is. i don't think everyone's gonna wanna publish everything they're reading/interacting with."
Scoble has 3700 Bloglines subscribers. He wants to know what people click on/talk about and he doesn't know right now. Surely FeedBurner, among others, have part of the answer already?
"Time famine" -- good term used by commenter up front.
"It becomes incumbent upon producer to see what people are reading, what's getting read...you have to moderate. You can post too much ... self-selection is important." (didn't get his name)
Right now: users are speaking, others are blogging what people are saying (like me), still others are commenting on the big screen via IRC. The problem of "overload" is in evidence in this room right now.
"I want a thumbs-up, thumbs-down on feeds." Ah, the TiVo metaphor, unkillable. (another commenter)
"How do you find the people who are doing the appropriate level of filtering?"
Scoble: Wants many more ways to sort his feed list; alpha ordering is obviously not functional enough. Technorati cosmos, my personal favorites, my most read authors, my *least* read authors, and so on.
General point made by several: the blog as Cory Doctorow's "outboard brain." Many people use their blog as a catch-all for things they themselves want to collect and recall later. Yourself as your reader.
Scoble says he spends just "3 hours per night" reading blogs. I'm sure some days it's more time than that. I'm beginning to wonder if many in this room are entirely too obsessed with the act of information consumption itself -- and how elegantly or efficiently they complete it -- rather than questioning whether this endless quest for "staycurrency" is just another damned El Dorado.
Dave Slusher: "stop feeling pressured to read every little thing out there in the world." It's hard to resist that pressure, however, if you work in this subindustry. For sure.
Something that just occurred to me: nearly all current aggregators spend a lot of energy textualizing importance. Bold text for new items, lists and columns of postings, lots of ASCII used to convey meaning. Where are the visualizations? Even something as simple as what Flickr does with public tags -- text size indicates tag popularity -- packs a lot more meaning without scrolling than any ranked list. Imagine if something like Tufte's efficiency and creativity combined with the data we've already got flying around out there. It would certainly help you become more aware, more quickly.