A solution for Bloggorhea

How can we deal with the avalanche of information pouring from millions of weblogs every hour?

By providing RSS feeds that are broken down by category!

Myke of Myke’s weblog suggests an elegant solution to the problem: He would like to be able to subscribe to specific categories of a blog.

I think that would change blogging in a major way and would open the door to improved communication between bloggers and their readers. It would  allow more experimentation by bloggers of all kinds and would allow "business bloggers" to interject comments about areas unrelated to their professional activities.

For a blogger like myself, whose output runs the gamut from political musings to deer-blogging, it would allow some of my readers to eliminate all of the boring stuff about self-publishing and surviving corporate employment and receive only the latest updates about Chernobyl and my restaurant reviews.

It would also make me do a better job of choosing categories so that my readers could get pure feeds on subjects that interest them.

I think the idea has fantastic possibilities. Perhaps the categories should be aligned with Technorati tags. I would envision the feed breakdown as follows:

Ripples: self-publishing,
Ripples: post-corporate living,
Ripples: all,
and so forth.

I can envision multiple RSS feed buttons on the sidebar of my weblog. A reader would choose the feed(s) they wanted to follow. It could cut down on their traffic immensely.

All we need is for someone to implement this. Suggestions?

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0 Responses to A solution for Bloggorhea

  1. Karen says:

    Very interesting idea.

    I, too, am swamped by my RSS feeds and spend way too much time reading posts. Although I do use categories, there’s no way to do subcategories based on key topics. I usually just scan the post title and decide if it’s something that interests me.

  2. Clarence says:

    I am of the opinion that having a uniform set of categories that would be used by any and all aggregators is an idea whose time has come…now…all that is needed is a means of getting all providers of Blogging software to agree upon said list and to implement it.

    To get some idea exactly how large a task establishing an agreed upon set of categories might be, one need only to take a look at you list there on the left sidebar David. If the list is too long, there is going to be a problem with Bloggers such as myself trying to accurately decide what category to use when composing a post.

    I wonder how many Betas it would require before a workable list could be arrived at? We certainly wouldn’t want someone like Bill Gates to have the final say on such a list. Who knows what kind of a nightmare he’d come up with?

    I personally like some of the categories I’ve come across out here. Eric over at the Fireant Gazette has a couple I’m partial toward. One is “Naval Gazing” and another is “Kitchen Sink.” I have one of my own I call “Looking inwardly” that I’m attached to also.

    The topic could lead to some interesting discussions. I’d like to add it to my reading list. That’s my two cents worth.

  3. Clarence,

    I thought it would be a problem too, until I thought about it for a moment.

    Each blog’s categories can be totally different from every other blog’s categories!

    As a reader, you will scan down the list of RSS buttons on a site and select the ones you want. There is no need whatsoever to have a uniform set of categories.

    It may revolutionize blogging. All we need is someone to implement it.

  4. James says:

    David- Sorry about the double-tap on the trackback, though I notice that your trackback to Myke did the same thing. Maybe that’s a typepad issue?

    I did a bit more poking around and found that there are some ways to publish category feeds with Movable Type:

    http://www.elise.com/mt/archives/000458simple_rss_customizations.php
    http://www.thegirliematters.com/tips/archives/0305/generate_rss_feeds_by_category.php

    I don’t know if TypePad offers such features.

  5. Stephan F says:

    Why should there be standardized categories?

    That requires some kind of centralized control which is just begging for trouble, if a post has a category just list it in the RSS reader and do the sorting there.

    Right now I just read most blogs weekly rather then daily. using tabs in my browser is easier then my overwhelming aggregator. I could trim but this works for now.

  6. Ray says:

    I have multiple category feeds on my blog, because I post on widely different topics.

    I posted about it here: http://www.warmroom.com/blog/archive/2005/06/category-based.html

    I run Movable Type directly so those instructions may not work for you.

    If you just want to see the feeds:
    http://www.warmroom.com/blog/about.html#feeds

  7. Ray, that is an excellent solution! It is exactly what I was looking for!

    Now, if I can only persuade Six Apart to implement this for Typepad… 🙂
    —–
    PING:
    TITLE: How to Promote a Site
    URL: http://blogs.caseysoftware.com/?q=node/125
    IP: 207.58.166.126
    BLOG NAME: CaseySoftware.com
    DATE: 08/23/2005 10:24:05 AM
    This is not written as a tutorial. I have one in mind, but wanted to first lay out a quick analysis of our most recent effort. CotC visitors, welcome!
    CodeSnipers.com – a site owned and managed by CaseySoftware – after being active for approximately 8 d
    —–
    PING:
    TITLE: Bloggerhea The Writing Schedule Review
    URL: http://kristenhavens.typepad.com/my_back_pages/2005/07/bloggerhea__the.html
    IP: 66.151.149.17
    BLOG NAME: My Back Pages
    DATE: 07/03/2005 03:32:45 PM
    Here’s an interesting discussion about RSS category feeds. The proposed idea is that people could subscribe to a single Blogger’s Category, instead of the entire blog. While this is a great idea in theory, in practice it requires writers to
    —–
    PING:
    TITLE: Managing blog overload
    URL: http://www.jls.cx/archives/000085.html
    IP: 64.27.17.72
    BLOG NAME: JLS.CX
    DATE: 07/01/2005 01:42:56 PM
    This entry from Myke’s Weblog: Too Many Great Blogs: Information Overload (vectored by David St. Lawrence of Ripples) mentions an issue that has also crossed my mind: for a blog that posts content on many different topics, how can we…

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