Geekspin Blog

Flooding the Blogosphere

Posted on: March 15, 2006

Seth Godin thinks that we are posting to much noise on the blogosphere. (via A VC)

Kent Newsome also weighs in and says:

Asking the citizenry of the blogosphere (far too many of whom are chasing the almighty dollar) to be reasoned in their use of the shared blogosphere is like asking people not to litter.

What Kent is saying is of course true, there is just no way we are going to turn around from the current curve, people will post more and more, and the topics will become more and more diverse. What we have here is the age old problem of eyeballs, yes, that is a marketing 1.0 term and it is still relevant. How do we expose the value of the increasingly long tail. Seth says that a focused and author filtered blog will end up with fewer, but more loyal and consequently valuable readers, but does that mean that it should end there?

The other side of the coin is the argument for memetrackers and tagging as well as custom filters helping us out, but to tell you the truth I find the signal to noise ratio on these things to be equally low, although they are not far off.

What do I think the solution is? Simple. Collaborative filtering. Many years ago there used to exist a movie rating site (I think it was called movielobby.com back then), they had a movie rating system where you could feed it with movies that you liked, then based on what other people have rated it would do some simple maths and suggest you a couple movies to watch. Simple, and it worked. What was more is that the more you used it, the more accurate it got.

This is what we need, I have been working on some sort of solution for this the last couple of weeks, when I have time. I have a technology base figured out, that’s the easy part, but how do I make this work in the real-world. I have been thinking of a browser plugin, it needs to be really simple to rate blog posts on a scale of “This grabbed my attention” to “This left me cold”, the system will then take your ratings and match your profile to these of thousands of like-minded people and suggest posts for you, via RSS (number and frequency configurable). Kind of like a personal memetracker.

What do you think, sound like it could work?


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6 Responses to "Flooding the Blogosphere"

I would definately go for something like that.

I agree – but this basically translates as a group blog?

But, isn’t there a need to discipline ourselves as readers and blogger? Its a double edged sword! If you read less – you write less 😀 Excess of both – spirals out more noise and less signal!

And thats where manual intervention i.e attention networks will be useful I think.

Also coming to main purpose of how I discovered the blog – I am the product manager of http://www.mytoday.com and we wanted to make a ‘southafrica’ based ‘Daily’ {public RSS agrregator page on a specific topic). Was wondering if you could help me put a OPML with news, blogs and other sites with RSS feeds relevant to South Africa.

You can also see that we had made a Barcamp Delhi Daily
http://www.mytoday.com/bcdelhi/

Do let me know what you think about the product too. Thanks +Vinu

Hi Vinu,

I use your service already and find it very helpful, would love to be involved.

How would you need the OPML structured in terms of categories etc, and how would I be able to maintain it in future? I would love to help because I think there is a need for this in my country.

Give me some guidelines, and I can make it work.

Cool idea. I’ve been meaning to come and drop this off for a while now, Conrad: http://www.blogcode.com/ Have you seen it? It’s a spin-off from a book recommendation site (storycode.com) and sounds like it operates on a similar principle to the movielobby one you mentioned.

I must say, I find collaborative filtering a great idea on paper – especially if it incorporates RSS, but I’ve rarely been satisfied with the results. Take something like StumbleUpon, for instance – I’m probably just really picky, but I always feel that you’d need much stricter filtering than they currently allow for when it comes to rating a blog or post in order to generate accurate recommendations. But that’s just me. 😉

I am checking out blogcode.com right now. The one big difference that I see about my idea and stumbleupon is that the information is much more short term than what stumbleupon delivers. Also I don’t want to serve sites as much as articles, recently submitted articles will be ranked higher.

Also how would you make the filtering stricter?

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