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I think this is major.

Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of the once-again relevant Wired magazine, writes on his blog that he very rarely engages in mainstream media directly, instead utilizing RSS and the blogosphere as a set of editors to point him to what is relevant.

Obviously, Chris is an early adopter, but he’s also the lead guy at a major mainstream publication. That he relies on the collective intelligence of the blogosphere to keep him appropriately informed I think suggests a crucial trend.

Chris also notes that he has 150 feeds that he follows. I’m at 149, after having been as high as 170. He and I both use Bloglines, which, frankly, isn’t equipped for such numbers. But with all the RSS readers out there, none of them have successfully addressed Feed Overload. I think this is a potentially huge opportunity.

I’ve stuck with Bloglines because it’s dumb-simple interface doesn’t get in the way of reading, unlike all the other web-based tools I’ve tried.

  1. I wonder if this is a wise strategy for someone like Chris – he’s in a position where being dialed-in to source material directly is a competitive advantage, because it means Wired hits a topic faster than the blogs he follows. I find that when I pay too much attention to my feed reader, I hear about particular topics a lot to the detriment of others. Major ideas pass me by because I’m not subscribed to the “right” feeds to begin with. There may be value in a serendipity news service – interesting things (judged by readership or activity, that you have previously shown no interest in (judged by your social network’s activity) are passed your way daily, to influence lateral thinking.

    Speaking of feed readers, give Reblog a whirl sometime. I’ve been slowly tuning the interface to work best with lots of feeds. I’ve crossed the 200+ mark not too long ago.

  2. Micahel,

    Needless to say, blogs are not my only source of information. I also–gasp–talk to people. And all the really important insights and information come that way. Blogs give me context and background info, but the really new ideas come from the “dark matter” of conversation with folks who are doing interesting things.


  3. Good observation. There is definitely a huge opportunity with regard to solving the “feed overload” problem.

    A couple months ago I was reading around 150 feeds and found it completely unmanageable with Bloglines. I was wasting a huge amount of time reading multiple posts about the same topic.

    Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything better than Bloglines, so I went through all my feeds, re-categorized them, stripped out the cruft and ended up with 92 feeds.

    I have vowed not to go over 100 until something better comes along. I’m sure someone’s working on a technology for cross-service collaborative filtering of blog posts. I guess that’s kind of what does, right? But isn’t digg just for technology news?

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