There are lots of sources of links these days- delicious, twitter, and blogs. Many of these are interesting, but not so interesting that I want to read them all the time. Currently I have to decide either to read or not read these people.
I’d like to add a third option: to have a ‘middle’ pool of sources who I don’t read directly, but who are monitored and serve as pointers to other, interesting things. I think having such a third option would let me read less (because I’d stop skimming these intermediate sources), but still also give me fairly good confidence that I’m not missing important things that I should read.
The outline of the software in my head goes something like this:
Step 1: User provides a list of RSS feeds (a mix of blogs, twitter/identica, and delicious feeds).
Step 2: A harvester collects the contents of said RSS feeds.1
Step 3: Parse the content of those feeds for URLs and dump them in a db.2
Step 4: Unshorten the URLs if necessary. 3
Step 5: When a particular url has been mentioned X times in the past Y days4, fetch the URL5, find the content within it6, and jam it in an RSS feed for consumption along with the rest of my top-level RSS feeds.
Bonus step: mash up snippets from the posts/twitters/delicious feeds to provide context for the URL’s content, similar to what Google Reader does when friends comment on a feed item.
I feel like someone must have done this already. If not, the pieces are available (see the footnotes for details on many of the pieces); I sure wish I had the time/skill to put them together myself. :/ This project is one of the things I wish we had more reliable bounty infrastructure for- I’d actually put money up for it if I thought there were a reliable way to get some matching funds and find good developers for it.
Ideas, either about the rough feature sketch, existing software that fits this need, or about methods to make it happen, are all welcome.
- Planet is an example of infrastructure that does this. [↩]
- Planet’s meme plugin can do this. [↩]
- There are scripts and web services available for this; the basics aren’t that complicated. [↩]
- again, meme plugin has this concept already implemented [↩]
- not in memeplugin- it only provides links [↩]
- not trivial, but source is available that does this via readability [↩]