Using people as filters
Rael Dornfest: "The result is that when I wake up in the morning, I get to see a lot of the stories that come through Slashdot or from the New York Times that are interesting to me, without having to wade through Slashdot to find them." [ ORN interview with Steven Johnson]
Rael's comment goes to the heart of what's happening here. As individuals become both producers and consumers of RSS feeds, they can use one another as filters. Today, Rael reminded me of some non-Radio RSS aggregators -- including his own Peerkat, and Carmen's Headline Viewer. Historically there wasn't a huge demand for these, since the centralized aggregators do a fine job with the canonical set of available channels. When channels proliferate, and when they inhabit spaces that the centralized aggregators can't see, it becomes clearer why a desktop aggregator is useful.
Former URL: http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2002/03/04.html#a101