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Taming your own river of news


Download Squad readers are tech-heavy web users. If you're like me, you probably generate quite a bit of RSS (maybe even without conscious awareness). Del.icio.us, your blog, your Flickr stream, etc, etc, ad nausea. We're at a total saturation point for the incoming data streams we deal with on a daily basis and, since there's no sign of the dataflow slowing down, we're forced to look for better ways to deal with it all. Necessity, after all, is the mother of all invention.

Emily Chang writes, "After a year and a half of using social applications heavily, I recently had to revisit the plan to aggregate all my activity into one data stream. As the calendar rolled to 2007, I kept wishing I could look at all my social activity from 2006 in context: time, date, type of activity, location, memory, information interest, and so on. What was I bookmarking, blogging about, listening to, going to, and thinking about"


This opens some amazing possibilities. Could your aggregator watch all your friends streams of RSS data and say, find the date and time of an upcoming party... then schedule it automatically? Stowe Boyd writes, "This traffic flow -- made more liquid by RSS and instant messaging style real-time messaging -- is the primary dynamic that I believe we will see in all future social apps. [...] we will increasingly move toward a flow model: where the various bits that we craft and throw into the ether -- blog posts, calendar entries, photos, presence updates, whatever -- will be picked up by other apps, either to display them to us, or to make sense of them. We want to consolidate all into one flow -- a single time-stamped thread -- that all apps can dip into."

Personal aggregation. Melding the content you create into one unified stream which can flow over anyone you want to allow to follow what you're putting out. Although Stowe's points take the idea to another level -- enabling applications to watch and deal with the river automagicly -- Chang's point must come first. Our data generation in the current model is more akin to tributaries of flow, the next step is to unite them into our personal river. Panning and mining that self-generated river for info-gold.

This seems like an obvious target for some rockin' open source app, Wordpress plugin, Yahoo! Pipe, etc.. but a cursory search says I'm going to have to roll my own if I want to hang with the cool kids. Where's the open source content flow aggregation system for the everyman? And once we have it, what do we do with it?

Tags: aggregation, content agregation, ContentAgregation, emily chang, EmilyChang, personal content aggregation, PersonalContentAggregation, river of news, RiverOfNews, RSS, stowe boyd, StoweBoyd

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