Splitting the Difference

“The hope for my news goes like this: if there’s a war going on, it should be the top story every single day. It should be the top story until it stops, and even then some more afterwards.” – Ben Tesch

Last time I checked, I was subscribed to 350 RSS feeds. None of them from convention news sources. Those 350 feeds edit the New York Times, Washington Post, Star Tribune, etc, etc for me. Somewhere in those 350 are a handful of people I trust to bring me the things they think are important.

Sometimes those important things are originally published in “actual publications” and through the power of the hyperlink (a concept MSM doesn’t seem to get), I read the original story.

How the hell do I get through them all….I don’t. Right now, there’s 504 unread items. I’m fine ignoring them in the same way I’m fine ignoring the nightly news and not subscribing to cable or satellite television. Tomorrow there’s 504 different unread items. And the next day.

Ben’s got an excellent point. One I’ve been working on as well: relevance.

How the Vikings, Packers, or FC Bayern München does – doesn’t effect me directly. Nor celebrity breakups. Maybe Ben and I have that in common. Now, MN state legislation, US congressional legislation, and I-94 construction probably effects both of us directly. While I can easily _not_ subscribe to a sports or celebrity feed, it’s far more difficult to sort-by-relevance within my trusted sources.

If I wanted to have the war as a top story every single day, I subscribe to a bunch of war-related feeds (blogs and otherwise). Having the war be the top story for all of us everyday, is a completely different problem. Ben, which are you trying to answer?

While we all know what spam looks like, relevance is fickle.
“Threat Level Orange” might mean something to someone, but few of us can act meaningfully on that information.

I’ve got some ideas in this direction – and I will need your help to test it out. But, not ’til next year – we’ve got holiday cookies to eat.

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