I posted about this a while back but I called them Hot Topic lists…I guess they don’t have to be topic based, but the word “hot” was the major descriptor.
But I didn’t think about the actual concept of this type of Reading List, and this is what James has bought to our attention.
If I’m correct these seem to be a type of Reading List, the type where the feeds in the list are changing constantly, like every hour.
So how do you get a Reading List where the feeds within are changing so often?
And why would you want this?
The idea of a Reading List is a carefully chosen topic list of feeds, that can be updated and will dynamically reflect the changes with who ever subscribes to the OPML URL.
Sure you can prune this list from time to time, but maybe it might be annoying if the owner of the OPML (Reading List) kept changing the feeds on you…especially by the hour.
What is the use of this…”are you happy with your feed set or not…why do you keep changing it?”
So from what I gather a Reading List wouldn’t change too often as you may be happy with the feeds in the list, if a feed gets boring over time, or you find a new one that suits the topic of the Reading List, you make those changes…but if you were making these changes daily, it would seem that you can’t make up your mind or your tastes are changing ever so quickly
…in the end we create a Reading List because we are happy about the feeds in it, we like most of the content in these feeds.
So what is a Grazing List?
This type of Reading List seems to be one where the feeds change every hour…in knowing this you are not really subscribing to this list because of the set feeds….you can’t get attached to these feeds as they won’t be around for long.
This type of list wouldn’t be modified by a human, it would automatically happen programatically.
The top posts on Memeorandum are changing all the time, what this hack does is collect all the feeds from where these top posts came from and puts them in an OPML URL.
As the post drops off the Memeorandum page, the feed will drop out of the OPML URL
…but what’s the big deal if you can subscribe to the Memeorandum RSS feed for a river of news of the latest posts anyway.
The reason you subscribe to a Grazing List is because you can discover and shop for feeds in this showcase…all the feeds in the OPML have a winning post in Memeorandum, so they must be good…you can dig around, checking out the posts to see if you want to subscribe to them.
It’s just another way of shopping for feeds, instead of looking at an RSS feed directory, or finding feeds in a blog engine via the posts in the results
…and the beauty of Grazing Lists is that you are shopping in your own home (your RSS Reader).
If you are not interested in feeds, but posts, then you can subscribe to the Memeorandum RSS feed.
So, with Grazing Lists you can subscribe to the feeds of these popular posts, as these feeds may have other posts you find interesting…cool for discovery…so you get a little bit extra by subscribing to the OPML, than the RSS feed.
I guess this is convenient, as when you subscribe to the RSS feed, you may see a post you like, then launch to the blog, look around read other posts from this blog to see if it’s a worthwhile subscription…so this is like shopping around.
Subscribing to the OPML may make this easier as you can shop around within your RSS Reader, as you not only have one post from a feed, you can see all the other posts as well, you don’t neccessarily have to launch to the actual blog to discover other posts.
With Reading Lists you are kind of happy with your feed set, so this doesn’t as change as much…but with Grazing Lists (a type of Reading List), it is not a consistent feed set (in fact it is perpetually changing), so it is more like a way to discover new feeds…whereas with a Reading List you are not really discovering new feeds as much in comparison.
In fact, you may discover new feeds in a Grazing List, and decide to add them to your Reading List.
This post has built up up from a comment I left on James Corbett’s blog. He also mentions including the feeds from the conversational posts linking to the posts on Memeorandum as being another level in the OPML…ie. the Grazing List would not only include the feeds from the posts on Memeorandum, but also the feeds from the posts that link to these posts in Memeorandum.
Check out Bokardo’s post on the evolution of our information grazing methods…this goes beyond feed grazing, and into post grazing.
Post grazing could mean simply browsing the Memeorandum RSS feed, it is just reading posts from a perpetual changing set of feeds as a river of news.
NOTE: in Memeorandum you are not getting all posts from the feeds (like a spliced feed), you only see popular posts, this can be post grazing as well.
And sometimes the feed and post grazing is done for you, via a recommendation based on your reading behaviour, etc…
Reading your feeds in some sort of relevance order river of news…relevance reading based on a set of feeds…the variation is how the relevance is determined.
We are always feed and post grazing in the backround for discovery, but once we have our feed set we would like a way to read the posts in our mini blogosphere by relevancy.
This is taking your feed set and instead of reading it in date order, reading it in relevance order…see OPML Sampler.
So we are back to not discovery, but reading only what we want to read, increasing the relevance and reducing the overload (but we want to know we are still being exhaustive).
Check out Scoble’s link to Megite, seems to be what we are seeking, a personal memetracker…this post has some insightful comments (especially the echo-chamber effect).
Relevance can work in different ways, based on your reading behaviour, based on popular posts (like OPML Sampler).
[ADDED 28/02/06: OPML Browser is now called Optimal…it reads RSS feed content, and also opens OPML inclusions within the same page as an outline]