Jon Udell is echoing something I've written about in various guises in: More pleasant surprises, please. Those (few ;-) who've been following what I've been writing maybe know that I've been working on a new kind of blog client/rss aggregator which I've recently started calling BlogBridge.
I have a variety of cool new ideas I am trying out in Blog Bridge, one of them being that I want it to give the user help in paying attention to those Blogs or feeds that are interesting to them and ignore the ones that are not. Read this early high level summary of the Blog Bridge vision and this early and soon to be updated Blog Bridge Speclet.
The key way to do this is what Jon refers to as "pleasant surprises." That is, to watch what the user does and what the feeds do to try and deduce which ones deserve the user's time.
What Blog Bridge does (will do) is use two major kinds of information. The users' behavior in terms of what feeds they click on which ones they ignore, And second information that various Web Services measure about feeds, like how active they are, what those feeds are about and what other feeds are like those. With that information plus some algorithm magic I hope to be able to bubble up those feeds that the user really finds useful right now, propose some that the user hasn't even heard about, and bubble down the ones that the user is not interested right now.
By the way if you look at the sketch appearance of Blog Bridge (here) the bad immitiation of the Wall Street Journal's What's News column was Jon's idea. Thanks Jon!