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Sun, 04 May 2003
If this is a mid-life crisis, let me in...
Don Park turned 41 today/yesterday, and immediately started cranking out a series of posts with some of the ideas he's got for his RSS Aggregator. There are three big areas (one post for each) that are interesting.
  • Chunking news over time
    I like his idea of various timelines for looking at news, especially in special categories. Stepping back and seeing the big picture is important. I think that what SharpReader is doing with building threads is a form of this. Also, there's another way that I'd use this. There are some topics that I'm interested in but don't want to read every day. I want to read them periodically and not lose the information there. I'd use this sort of chunking for that as well.
  • Scanning versus reading
    This is a big one for me. I do a scan / read pass across the huge HTML page that Aggie presents. Unfortunately what I've discovered is that the titles are not enough information to determine whether posts should be read or not. Having the content in-line is important.
  • Permanence / context
    Permanence and context are about remembering and finding something that you read. My Aggie page is so huge that position in the page is meaningless for retaining context. For a number of interesting posts, I can't remember which blog they came from. There's enough surprise in post content, that I don't think I'd be able to adequately remember which category/section a post was in either. Which makes the problem of finding things later a bit harder. Right now, it's impossible because Aggie overwrites the HTML page each time, but it'd be trivial to fix that so that Aggie just inserted the date/time as part of the filename. Then you'd have an archive of pages that you could search. But that's a little bit low tech. In my scan and read workflow, I'd want to be able to search just the posts that I actually read, as well as all the posts that were retreived. I'm not sure that a search engine style interface isn't the best for this.
[01:08] | [computers/internet/weblogs] | # | TB | F | G | 1 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
I have seen some creative ways to deal with mid-life crisis, but this one seems the most productive. :)
Posted by ChrisJ at Fri Jul 22 11:39:43 2005

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