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On Microblogging and Feedreaders

I’ve been hearing more and more, “I don’t really use my Feedreader any more, I keep up to date with news and interesting links via Twitter, Buzz, and Facebook”.

So, now I’m wondering: can I extract and distill this interesting stuff from microblogs?

  • Brute-force solution: extract all hyperlinks from twitter feeds of friends and friends-of-friend. Expose them in an RSS feed for syndication
  • More work: Keep track of the source of information (from friend, from friend’s network), aggregate it (x people posted this same link, x different friend’s networks posted this same link)
    • (aside: I remember reading somewhere that while the immediate-friend relationship provides lots of utility for news, friend-of-friend is mostly noise)
  • More work: Provide some sort of feedback/voting mechanism, to see which sources are actually useful (it’d be easy to hook these up as features to a machine learning classifier
  • Tangent: Aside from links, retweets could be an interesting thing to explore in the same way; less sanguine about this though.