|Monday, March 17, 2003|
A New(s) Lens
There are many people out there using NetNewsWire to read their news feeds, be they CNN, be they financial news, tech news, weblogs, it's all out there. If you're like me, you use it as a replacement for the morning paper. What Glenn Reynolds says on politics is worth listening to as an aggregator. What Howard Rheingold says about interaction is important. These are much more interesting (sorry, Cindy) than some faceless columnist at the Post. I read 73 feeds daily. I read them more closely than I read the Post. Why? Context. The feeds provide a different context than the Post does.
So, scroll back a few months. January. San Francisco. MacWorld. Keynote. Jobs talks it up as an open standard equivalent to PowerPoint. Ah HA! Now we're getting somewhere.
What is RSS? It's XML. It's a specific schema for XML, it has tags that contain information, lots of little boxes that describe what content lies within. But that's all it is, content, devoid of design. It strips the Info out.
Okay, Tom, where are you going?
Imagine for just a moment with me. You wake up, and on the way to the shower flip open your powerbook, fire up NetNewsWire and go get clean. When you've come back, NNW has created a Keynote presentation for you. It contains either just the text/graphical display of the articles in your feeder, or it could actually scrape the HTML pages. When I read the news, I tend to open a whole crapload of Safari windows, which gets cumbersome. Better yet, Safari is still buggy and if it crashes, there goes my news. But this, ahh, this is different. I have a slideshow I can show many people, or watch just myself.
This is the future.
Better yet, there could be more to it. A Bayesian filter that says "Hmmm, he reads Jim VanVliet's column at Sacramento Bee. Perhaps he likes Susan Slusser's column at SFGate.com." It would work like TiVo would. Rate the feeds you read, it might find more you'd like, it could search using Technorati or some utility.
Better than the front page of the paper.
And it's all available now, we just need to create the framework for it.
Straight from the Brain Stem
Brain Stem feed this morning.
...Gulf War Drinking Game, because dammit, if we're going to war, I'm gettin' hammered. [via Dan Hon]
...InstaPundit reports on fraternity bashing in the media.
...Airbrushing of this guy's eye aside, Wired's got a neat article on the space elevator