Bloggers are interesting sources of information and analysis, and entertainment as well. But did you ever think of them as filters?
I did an interesting thing yesterday; I subscribed to Yahoo's new headlines RSS feed in my RSS Reader. Suddenly I was inundated with news entries. Some of them were interesting, most of them weren't, and many of them were duplicates of other feeds I already subscribe to, like CNN News. So, what to do?
So here's my answer. I'm going to drop Yahoo, and rely on other bloggers to filter it for me. If there's anything interesting or important, I'm counting on one of the blogs to which I remain subscribed to point it out!
Now think about that for a minute.
I want the most interesting things only, the most interesting things to me. How is that done?
One way is to filter "everything" is to subscribe only to feeds which have information I really care about. That's great in principle, but there are few feeds like that. I have a wide band of interests, and outside that band there are sometimes weird things which peak my interest. Most of the feeds I find interesting have a signal to noise ratio of about 10-40%, meaning I skip past a majority of their items.
Another way is to use other bloggers as filters, and this is exactly what I do. In fact it is probably exactly what you do, too. The reason you are reading this is because you read my blog, and that's because you rely on me to be a kind of filter. If I think it is interesting, maybe you will, too :)
So although I think it is a great thing that Yahoo and a bunch of other news outlets are summarizing information as RSS feeds, I'm not going to subscribe. Instead, I'm going to subscribe to your blog, and count on you to filter the feeds for me. Thanks in advance!