Advancing RSS feeds to Generation Deux

I have been using RSS for a number of years and I kinda think I’m in a rut. Yeah, my simple RSS program works but it doesn’t:

rss 1. Put my lists online so that I don’t have to create duplicate lists from computer to computer

2. Put shared lists online as recommendations for family, friends, and coworkers

3. Auto archive based on usage or lack there of

4. Rate RSS feeds by popularity both by the number of times I access it and by traffic to the site

So I took a very small sample survey by walking down the hallway. Everyone want these kind of services and more. But no one had taken the time to go out there and find a great solution. So in this the first part of my research I further define my wants for the new system.

Put my lists online

I have different RSS feed lists for my different interests. The CRM reading list is at about 100 blogs. The friends and families is smaller. And the music and jazz RSS feed list is approaching 200 feeds. But depending upon where I am there are multiple copies of the same thing. At work I have three computers. At home I have two that I use regularly. No two machines have the same lists and that is a problem. I know I can copy my feeds to a skydrive and copy it to another machine but serious, that would be a weekly activity to keep the lists in sync.

Shared Lists

I want to be able to share my lists. I want to be able to scan lists that my friends, family and coworkers share. I can do this manually a number of ways. But I want it to be as easy as a check mark when I add a feed; do you want to share this feed? Yes. No.

Auto Archive

Wouldn’t it be nice if you RSS would periodically at an interval you selected pop up and say, “You haven’t used the following feeds for over a year. Do you want to keep them?” I don’t wanna even think about pruning my many, many RSS feed lists.

Rating Feeds

I’d like to know which feeds, out of the hundred I read, are the most popular by my accesses. I’d also like to know which are the most popular by traffic to the feed. In my perfect world each Link string would be followed by a color coded icon for each statistic. My accesses a head icon colored Green for top 20%, Yellow for middle 60%, and Red for bottom 20%. And the traffic info might be a star icon with the same color scheme. No really.

So I write this in hopes that some of the power users like John, Aaron, or Menno will respond with a, “Hey dufus, that functionally already exists using *this* technology. It would save me a lot of time that I will probably be using to test many different Web 2.0 services, from social news giant Digg to commenting services like Intense Debate and CoComment to feed readers like FeedBurner. Heck, I’m even looking startup CrunchBase’s

Comments (5)

  1. ubeefcrj says:

    Hi Jim,

    Check out i thoroughly recommend it.

    My primary driver for my RSS reader was synchronisation between my windows mobile phone and my laptop, i tried several free clients, including using Outlook but this has proved to be the best.

    I don’t believe it has all of your requirements, sharing lists, corporate list etc. But well worth checking out.


  2. 365blog says:

    Someone I really respect also recommended Bloglines.

  3. Craig Humphrey says:

    You could also check out Google Reader.

    It allows you to categorise each RSS feed and then you can turn each of those categories into a new feed.

    If you stick with accessing it via the web (or offline using Google Gears and regular syncing) then you get your consistency accross locations.

    For pruning, you can jump into the trends page and get the "most obscure" (fewest subscriptions, through Reader) or inactive (by date of last post), from where you can drop them from your subscriptions list.

    I foolishly signed up for over 900 feeds a year ago, over a couple of months recently, I whittled it down to just 384 🙂

    Note: Google Reader runs best in a fast JavaScript engine, IE8 and Chrome are significantly faster than say IE7.

    Your milage may vary 🙂



  4. Newsgator is what I use.  The combination of their cloud service with their FeedDemon rich client does much of what you’re looking for including online interface and auto archive.  Rating feeds is harder but newsgaotr online does provide an indiction of how many people are subscribed to a feed.

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