Titles and contexts

Marc Barrot writes:

As of tonight's Radio.root update, when one supplies a title but no link, Radio automatically provides the link to the post's permalink (Jon, does this answer your questions ?).

This way, the title is always rendered correctly when displayed in the News aggregator page.

Every day, Radio keeps getting better and better ! [ s l a m]

The near-realtime pace of development is absolutely exhilarating, and yes, Radio is dramatically better day by day. What I'm about to say should not detract in any way from these accomplishments which, in fact, have got me on the edge of my seat wondering what's next. (And have got me sitting here writing this, instead of doing what I planned to do when I booted up today...)

But no, this doesn't completely answer my questions. Nor could it, because the questions go to a wider context, and cannot be answered only in Radio by UserLand.

Consider, again, how all this looks from the perspective of someone scanning in an RSS aggregator, using a titles-only mode to streamline the display. And on another axis, consider two different communities of practice: news, and blogs.

The news style is: heads/decks, where the heads link to external stories. Here, the decks are useful, but optional -- if the head did its job and took you to the story, the author doesn't mind that you skipped the deck.

The blog style is (optionally, of course): heads/stories. Here if the head does its job, the link takes you to the story. The author would very much mind if you skipped the story.

Since the synthesis of these two communities of practice in an RSS reader is a compellingly powerful breakthrough, my question remains: how to harmonize them?

Here's the scan mode I'd like to be able to define for my RSS reader:

- If the [description] is really a short, optional, news-oriented deck, show it along with the title.

- Or if the [description] is a blog-oriented story, but is a short-form blurb, not a long-form story, then show it along with the title.

- But if the [description] is a blog-oriented long-form story, then hide it.

I would not, at this point, presume to suggest any metadata tweaks for this purpose, though they are not hard to imagine. I only invite people inside and outside the Radio community, as they both write and aggregate blog-oriented and news-oriented items, to think about what the right synthesis might be.

Former URL: http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2002/03/13.html#a133