Aggregator Envy

RSS continues
to open doors into interesting new spaces as people figure out new ways
to create, consume, manipulate and share feeds. Dave
has come up with a unique and tres cool mechanism for sharing
aggregator subscriptions.  After registering at the
site’s Home Page
, you can
post the OPML of your aggregator, see
what streams
scads of famous
and interesting bloggers
are reading, see who
is reading each of the members
and see who (among the users registered at the site) is subscribed
to your

This reminds the Dowbrigade of the speculative piece he wrote on syndicating
and selling subscriptions to a live feed of Glenn
Reynolds desktop (InstaFeed
You can’t do that yet, but you can see what Adam Curry, Dave Winer, Joi
Ito, Jeff Jarvis and others are reading on a daily basis.

Our only gripe is that the limited capacity of our aggregator and our
limited ability to check it on an hourly basis in turn limit how many
we can subscribe to.  My current measly total is 44 streams, and
the capacity of my aggregator means that the stories are shoved out the
bottom of the bin in about 4 hours. Which means, of course, that unless
we check our aggregator every four hours, we start to miss stories! What
if we miss the key to the universe?

And think, if we were like Dave, who subscribes to 260 feeds, or Scott
Adams, who reads 534, each story would only last about 20 minutes in
my aggregator. As unlikely as it may be, should we ever approach the
stratospheric level of all-time record holder Jay
, the Human
Aggregator (1001)
, the stories would only stay in cache for about 5 minutes.

To deal with this problem, we have created two specialized aggregators
which run parallel to my main aggregator.  One just handles the
New York
Times feed
s we read, which linger almost exactly 24 hours at
the regular rate of flow, and another which just includes the regular
contributors to the Thursday Evening Meetings

Why does aggregating feel so natural and useful?  Maybe because
that’s how human consciousness works, by aggregating the information
streams from our five senses, mixing with a little intuition, and weaving
it into a multi-media experience..

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