Social Networks and RSS Aggregators

Dave Winer says that there's a bit of buzz about social networks and RSS aggregators. I haven't seen it myself, but I am glad to see it brought up, because it's one of the things that's evolving nicely in BlogBridge and will be available in the next weekly build.

What do I mean by "Social Networks and RSS Aggregators"? Briefly, here's what we are doing with in in BlogBridge:

  • Any Feed being accessed through BlogBridge can be given a rating (one through five stars) by a user.
  • Also, the user can attach one or more Tags to the Feed.
  • Also, the user can indicate, if they happen to know, where the country of origin for that feed is.

The companion (free) BlogBridge Service receives this information, and collates and aggregates it in useful ways:

  • For example, the Country of Origin set by one user is visible (wiki-like) by all other users, the assumption being simply that people won't hack this, but if they happen to know that the blog comes for example from Iran, they can share that with the rest. This is a useful way to share factual, but not easily ascertained information.
  • The tags users assign to a certain feed are also shared ( with all other users. The natural way of slicing and dicing will allow a user to see for example all feeds that the BlogBridge community has assigned the 'International' tag or the 'Secuirity' tag. This is a useful way to discover feeds that you would be interested in.
  • Finally the stars rating of a feed will be used to help users figure out (collaborative-filtering-like) which feeds are good and not so good.

We're not pretending we are curing cancer here, but there are some cool ideas that we are experimenting with which may or may not lead to something really useful. FWIW.
Posted on February 3, 2005 and filed under BlogBridge.