Stowe ain’t no pigeon

Anyone who follows more than a couple of feeds in their reader has had this problem. Bolded numbers in brackets blinking back at you you, telling you how many articles you need to scan to stay current – do you click “read all” and be done with it? What if you miss something? How do you know what’s important when RSS normalizes everything to look the same?

Stowe Boyd of Corante points out how he feels,

I don’t like the Pez dispenser feel, where all posts are like another, and you assume the role of a pigeon in a Skinner box, hitting the button to make the pellets roll out.

RSS Readering: Why RSS Readers Are No Good For Me (And You, Too, I Bet)

Stowe not only gets the perfect analogy, he goes one better in his post and lays down a challenge for RSS readers to do better with some suggestions for improvement which I think make sense.

I think that’s the attraction of Memeorandum – we’re usually lazy and want to give over control to someone else to sort out the top news of the day. In Memorandum if a story is really talked about, it’ll remain the top story all day, there’s no worry in missing that one post, it’ll remain pegged up there until you’re ready for it. Reading your feeds (forgive me, I’m going to take a shot at my own analogy) should be more like taking in an expansive view of the landscape and not like weeding a garden. As Yahoo continues to think about how best to bring RSS to the masses, this is something we continue to think about.






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