Aggregate Trust, Filter Relevance

“I want to subscribe to other people who I can trust, and also, who I can dial down a little” – Eric Rice

I like and trust Eric Rice…though I’m not as psyched about Second Life as he is. Same with Mark Cuban and basketball. Same with Doc Searls and photography. Same with Dave Slusher and SciFi. I subscribe to many others where there’s just the occasional interesting bit – that I gotta dig for.

Our current RSS aggregation tools don’t handle this problem very well. In fact – RSS is very different than email (just as radio is different than voicemail). All but 1 of the aggregators ( ) I’ve played with treat them the same.


“We have always measured, instead, relevance, trust, usefulness, interest, attraction, action, value. Those are the measurements that matter, always have been, only now media must catch up to us.” – Jeff Jarvis

“I’m happy to let her sift through the left (and right) blogosphere for me and pick out the gems, that way I don’t have to read either.” – Dave Slusher

One thought on “Aggregate Trust, Filter Relevance

  1. I think a big part to getting the nuanced approach you and I want to see is that we need to do a better job of capturing those preferences. Even just a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” on posts, feeds, tags, etc. at every level would provide the data to start doing analysis on someone’s preferences.

    For instance, if you’ve got a feed that you gave a thumbs up, but you mark all of the posts inside that are in a category/tag of “basketball” down, you can offer to filter on that basis.

    But, any of those kinds of filters require the collection of data in the first place. And, short of reading people’s mind, the best way I know how to do that is to make it easy to express their intentions. Make it easy for someone to act on the “I really like this feed, but I wish he’d quit harping on Second Life” thought going through their head.

    I’ve been doing a rudimentary version of this using Thunderbird tags. I hit 1-4 for an indication of how much I like it. 1 gets it published on my “saved feed items” page. 2 gets recorded as a vote for continuing to see posts like it, etc.

    I don’t think that’s necessarily the right way to go, but it feels better than without it.

    My intention with my project is to provide filters (first predefined, then user-defined) on both feeds and feed items. So, you can show all feeds you’re subscribed to, but only show feed items from feeds you’ve given 50%+ “thumbs up” to. Or, only show items with tags/category entries that match your “PHP development” tag group.

    I’m still working through what all of it means and what it would take to make that usable, but I’m definitely looking for ways to solve it.

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