What if you could see the results or read the OPML file of your RSS reader in a blog engine.
You can almost do this in Feedster, as you can limit your search to just an OPML file, but you can’t do a blank search (we want to see all our entries like we do in an RSS reader).
But then what is the use of this, when we can just use an RSS reader?
Well if you could do a blank search of your RSS reader OPML file on a blog engine, and you sorted the results by date and subscribed to this RSS feed, that would just be like a spliced feed for your whole RSS reader, Rojo already offers one.
But what about if you sorted the results by authority, then this RSS feed would be a river of news, from all the feeds in your RSS reader, sorted by items that are most talked about…this is ranking the items delivered to you in your RSS reader by most popular items according to the blogosphere.
This is just ranking, it just floats popular items to the top, maybe you only care about only some items in each feed, so ranking by popularity according to the blogosphere, may bring relevant stuff to the top, and the items you hopefully don’t care about will sink to the bottom where you may never get to (this assumes you can read your items as a river of news).
What about those posts that are great but no-one knows about them, these will be at the bottom, as this item gains incoming links maybe it will climb your RSS readers ladder till you notice it, otherwise it will stay at the bottom…it’s a pity everything is about popularity..see my posts on other aspects to ranking, besides just incoming links.
If OPMLsampler generated an RSS feed, this could be possible.
But then again what’s popular to the blogosphere may not be popular to you, that’s when we get into personalisation and attention, many RSS readers rank your feeds and items according to your reading behaviour, items you click, items you flag, even maybe explicit voting…this way items in your reader are not ranked by incoming links but ranked on your past behaviour (implicit) and explicit interest (voting or rating)…Pito is suggesting to formalise this type of data so it can be shared across platforms. More to this, an OPML file from your RSS reader can maybe be used, in the future, as data for other applications other than RSS readers, such as recommendation engines based on your interests…this is attention data, Alex keeps pushing this further everyday.
(SIDENOTE: Alex’s post is a transcribed podcast, via a new tool called Transcibr)
Either way, ranking items in your RSS reader by authority in the blogosphere or by your personal statistics is another way to read your subscriptions instead of latest entries as they happen.
Actually ranking items in your RSS reader according by popularity in the blogosphere would be close to your own personal Memeorandum, the next step would be to thread items that link to each other, and also list related items about the same content underneath.
Jack celebrates how SharpReader threads items, which is like the incoming links scenario, only that items that are heavily threaded aren’t ranked higher (this actually links posts in your RSS Reader that have common links).
Then what about related items, these are items that are similar, probably based on text analysis, any RSS readers out there?…can you incorporate Waypath related into your RSS reader?
Stowe is going beyond ranking and threading and feels RSS readers don’t collate enough stuff around a post, when he sees a link, he wants to know stuff about it, by:
“I might click on tags embedded in the post, that take me to Technorati, or I might simply decide to search at Technorati or Del.icio.us for references to the piece or for tags to the topic or the names of individuals writing about it.
I might follow backlinks, from the post back to earlier sources: other posts, or articles.
I might ask specific contacts of mine what they know about the object of my interest.
I might write a post, summarizing what I have uncovered, and offering some thoughts on the subject”
I like this idea, what if every link had a synposis of where to look for more information, or even went scouting and collated it for you…some blog posts do offer a lot of utilities for more information related to the post, but if a browser offered this then we have the controls at our fingertips.
Actually if I collated all my information bookmarklets and placed them in blummy, I could do things with the current page I’m looking at, example: blog engine backlinks (conversation tree or graph), blog engine search, blog tag engine links, blog engine related links, blog tag engine related tags, social bookmark backlinks, social bookmark search, social bookmark tags, social bookmark related links or tags, dictionary look up, etc…this would be better, as my bookmarklets are scattered, having my information bookmarklets in one place would be a good idea.
Instead of clicking on all these bookmarklets, what if this was all done for you on the fly, you just click a button called “Collate Info” and it did what all these bookmarklets would do, and presented the results in a web page
…all the ground work would be done by your little agent, you could just read the results, and delve further if you wish.