Friday, January 26, 2007

The endless nagging of RSS readers

Dave Winer writes:
Most RSS readers remind the user, all the time, how wrong he or she is. Or inadequate or lazy or behind in their work ... Who needs that.

Think about it this way. Suppose you read the paper every day. What if at the top of the paper it told you how many articles from previous issues you hadn't read.

News is not email ... Every article is not necessarily something you should read, or even look at ... If I'm not interested, or too busy -- too bad. No need to count the number of articles that didn't get my attention. It's a useless piece of data.
See also my earlier post, "RSS sucks and information overload", where I said, "The problem is scaling attention. Readers have limited time. They don't want information. They want knowledge."

[Winer post found via Matt McAlister]

3 comments:

Adam said...

I've been using Findory and there's still some information overload. It finds lots of good stuff, all day long. Is the answer for me to just pay attention to the first X things Findory finds for me?

btn said...

I use Safari 2.0 because it treats RSS feeds like web pages. Safari lets me quickly skim headlines, and open articles I want to read in new tabs if needed.

I don't want to read feeds as if each article is an email message. It's too slow! I also believe most people can remember that they've already read an article.

My main nit with Safari is that its right feed list column does not scroll independently of the left content area, which is mildly annoying if you subscribe to a lot of feeds.

Otis Gospodnetic said...

Adam: that's what I do. I get Findory email, click on 2-4 links on average, read that and a few more things those link to, and I'm done. I haven't checked my feed subscriptions in weeks and thanks to Findory, I feel like I got the interesting stuff and avoided "the N unread" problem.