I use bloglines to monitor blogs. I like a lot of blogs and even just browsing my subscriptions I can’t keep up with all of ‘em. Enter AideRSS. It makes some decisions for you about how “good” the blog posts are and filters out the ones that it doesn’t think ard up to snuff.
It counts the number of diggs, deliciousness, number of comments, google action, tweets and recency and cobbles this into an overall score. It seems to take recency into account — i.e. a very recent post scores high no matter what, but if it hangs out a day or two without getting any comments the scores goes down. You set the threshhold, and posts below that score will not be shown. It would be much more useful to me if it let you customize what’s important to you. UPDATE: I’m told by AideRSS (see comments) that new posts don’t get any points for recency. I was sure they did previously, and I thought that was a good thing–otherwise how is a new post ever going to get on the radar?
It is RSS eating it’s own tail. You can get an RSS of practically anything, including other RSS. It starts to get a little bit ridiculous.
AideRSS is a very well executed site. If you are not quite getting your head around what it does, it has a nice video tutorial. I exported the opml file from my bloglines and then imported it into AideRSS. Unfortunately this is a static import, i.e. AideRSS wouldn’t know if I added more feeds in bloglines. It would be nice if it was an automated LIVE feed. And it doesn’t have folders — I hope it adds those soon.
AideRSS suffers from social tunnel vision by assuming popularity=quality, and worse, that quality is the same for all. All these websites play the numbers, and I suspect the algorithm works well for folks who are clustered in that fat part of the curve around the mean. As for me, if most people like something, that’s like a flashing sign above it for me to avoid it. What “most people” like, I tend to hate. I wish AideRSS would, as I said, allow a little more customization by the account holder as to what they think is important. For example, READING LEVEL. Is it pitched for a fourth grader, or does it have (wooooo!) big scary words? Also topic. Some people would weight “Brittney Spears Boob Jobs” as highly important, but I wouldn’t. I’m told that tagging is coming. So you could weight tags/topics as important or not to you personally. Also I wish there was a way to flag an article as blatant link bait or otherwise overrated. If you say something outrageously stupid, of course you’ll get bashers who just have to disagree with you, and:
- boom, inflated score on the comment count
- biff, you’re popular,
- bing, your hitcount goes up,
- bonk, you’ve just wasted a lot of people’s time with more worthless dreck.
I personally do not care how many comments a blog post has because the vast majority of long comment threads are either bashfests, or go off on some personal misunderstanding back and forth. So until AideRSS has something to offer a misfit 4σ * such as me, I wouldn’t totally rely on it, because it will skim above new posts, esoteric posts, posts on niche topics.
Keep your eye on AideRSS, they’ve got some heavy hitters and I expect they will get even better as time goes on.
*If you don’t know what a 4σ is, you can do one of three things:
- use google,
- go off and read something important, like which celebrity is screwing which other one.