RSS filtering and personalisation are 2 ways to reduce the information overload, and hone in, target or tune exactly what your interested in. Then there is also the delivery - how are you going to read this content, the delivery will match the immediacy of your informations needs.
RSS filtering is creating search feeds across the blogosphere, tagosphere or across your subscriptions, you can even splice up lots of feeds and create a search filter, or you can create a search filter on each feed first and then splice it.
RSS personalisation is reading content quality according to your personal reading behaviour and perhaps even a social influence, a classic example of this is Rojo, it tracks what you click on flag, tag, rate, etc…
It is an RSS gadget that lives in your tray, it learns from you and delivers you content the ways you choose. It’s different than gadgets like klipfolio as there is only one interface to all information - not a clip per data source.
What I like about it is that besides scanning your reading behaviour and feeding you content based on your interests (APML), it delivers content in a various ways depending on how relevant it is to you, from an IM exchange Chris Saad says:
“it chooses the presentation style depending on the “Personal Relevancy” of the information - the more relevant the info to u the more disruptive a presentation style it uses so that u can stay informed while you work with minimal screen realetate and distruption.”
Just to clarify, I don’t think it so much personalises content via tuning to your reading behaviour (although it may do), it has a more complete method by scanning what you pay attention to, eg. scanning your harddrive to determine your browsing, email, favorites, documents, etc
Then, from your feed set it will deliver content that it thinks you like in the delivery method you like, so it is not really filtering, but more ranking.
It is similar to a toast systems tray pop up, but the delivery goes way further than that, more from Chris:
“…u can discard items below a certain rank, while alerting others of a higher rank
well the presentation style is not river of news, it is alerts
so it is a heads up display - u see them as soon as they are added to the feed - while u work - no need to open a program and see them in ANY order…”
“…it only toasts items that are of a certain rank or higher
items that rank even more highly might be SMSed (for example)
we call it ‘escalating alerts’…the result is something like this.
Even though certain posts are ranked higher than others (and in turn delivered differently) you can still get to show every post in your feed set (but this is more for traditional RSS Readers), Touchstone is more designed to show certain posts you like from a feed, and confidentally ditch the rest, this is Chris’s response to my question:
“it’s up to u - but the most important posts will be more prominantly alerted…it’s not an all or nothing situation - it is a ‘more important = more interruption’ situation
it is not designed to replace the feed reader though - only give u a heads up display while u work on other stuff”
In essence, according to your APML a heavily matched post will be more intrusive…but I think there is more than just APML in deciding personal relevancy.
Delivery Methods or Levels of Interruption
There’s lots of delivery methods depending on the personal importance of the content, and the good thing is that the Touchstone community can develop their own delivery gadgets.
- Ticker (for generally interesting stuff)
- Popup toast (for important stuff)
- Cusour trail that follows your mouse around for a few seconds (for even more important stuff)
- Not sure if it does SMS or IM (I guess the toast is as good as IM)
- Sticky note pop-ups on your desktop
It seems it is complementary to your RSS Reader, for some people Touchstone may be their only tool, but for others it is just an alert system so you know what you want to know, when you want to know, and how you want to know. Later on when you have time you can dig into your RSS Reader and read other posts, and tag stuff, etc…
I suppose if you wanted to see every post from every feed in Touchstone, it would be going beserk all day, tickering, cursor trailing, toasting, sticky noting, etc…that’s why it seems to work best only showing the cream of posts from your feed set according to you.
- Rank sources of information, eg. rank your 10 most favorite feeds as 5 stars, that way they are sure to be alerted in the most disruptive way every time
- Filter posts by typing in phrases to look for and rating those phrases as negative/positive importance to you
Chris says: “…there is an ‘attention spectrum’ of -5 to +5
and most of the output ‘widgets’ catch items that rank from 0 to 5
so anything that ranks in the negatives is usually filtered out anyway
but u can always change that so they catch all items, even if they have a negative rank”
They also have widgets (called Pebbles) to put on your blog, it re-syndicates an RSS feed of your ‘most personally relevant content’.
Touchstone is not just about RSS, it also pulls in email and other types of data, check out the ideas for adaptors.
There’s much more to this service, I’ve only started to scratch the surface…and there is some interesting things coming up, keep in touch with their blog.