Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Social networking + RSS = Rojo

Corie Lok at MIT Technology Review writes about Rojo, "the first company to combine RSS aggregation with social networking."

The basic idea is that people list all their friends on Rojo, read news on Rojo, and share interesting articles and feeds between each other.

Of course, building yet another social network is a lot of work. From the article:
    The company will have to deal with more fundamental questions, like whether people will build social networks at Rojo just to help them sort through RSS feeds, when they probably already maintain networks at places like Friendster.
It's quite a hurdle. Seems like an existing large social network would be in a much better position to do this than someone starting from scratch.

But that's not the only problem. Another problem is that it's just not clear how effective this approach will be.

Just because I'm someone's friend doesn't mean we like the same news. And just because I'm not someone's friend doesn't mean we won't like the same news. Unless your friends are all clones of you, friendships probably aren't the best predictor of your interests. Your friends are different than you. That's what makes them interesting.

What might work better is reaching out to the entire community -- beyond just your friends -- finding the people like you, and having them recommend interesting articles. But then you'd have Findory.

[Tech Review article via Simon Waldman]

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