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October 16, 2002

Threaded aggregator?

Unsanity.org: Comment on Repeats

Quoting myself, at the link above:

... I think the reason it bugs me is that the aggregators don't aggregate by subject, but by site.

I've been thinking about creating an aggregator that would group posts by the URL they point to, or by keyword, rather than by who wrote the post. That way, you could see what every site you subscribed to thought about the Microsoft "switch" page, then about subject Y, then subject Z.

This is part of the attraction of Daypop, but a story has to be pretty widely 'blogged before it appears in their top 40, and it may get there because it's being discussed by sites I don't want to read (I can imagine a lot of people not caring about what the warblogging community, or the Mac geek community, or the insert-community-here community think is important). The reverse is also true: A story that's widely discussed in my circle of web feeds may never make Daypop.

Brent Simmons has already mentioned keyword folders as one possible improvement in NetNewsWire Pro, but I've never seen anyone discuss making the structure follow the content instead of being presented by site.

Does anyone else think that a threaded aggregator would be the bees' knees, the cat's pajamas, and Chester's Chee-tos all rolled into one?

October 16, 2002 in About the web | Permalink

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Comments

Does anyone else think that a threaded aggregator would be the bees' knees, the cat's pajamas, and Chester's Chee-tos all rolled into one?

I think the idea has merit. (Those would be the upcoming trans fat-free Chee-tos, yes? :-)

This may or may not be related (sorry, but it's late and I'm about to hit the sack, so I'm a bit fuzzy): I've found it challenging to remember where I have participated in discussions, especially when I follow blogrolls that lead me off my usual circle of blogs.

Keeping track of new comments is also tricky: "Hmm, there are 4 comments on that subject -- have I seen all of them already?" Which is why I've suggested the idea of auto-mailing new comments, something that some of you kindly perform manually on occasion.

Posted by: john at Oct 16, 2002 11:55:23 PM

Keeping track of new comments is also tricky: "Hmm, there are 4 comments on that subject -- have I seen all of them already?" Which is why I've suggested the idea of auto-mailing new comments, something that some of you kindly perform manually on occasion.

I wonder how hard it would be to do this? It means hacking perl (ugh), but it shouldn't be difficult. The hook to mail the blog owner is there already, after all. Perhaps each article needs to keep a list of email addresses for contributors in the database, though: that could get ugly.

Hmm . . . .

Posted by: paul at Oct 17, 2002 1:23:36 AM

I'm speculating wildly, since I don't have the MT source and don't speak Perl. But...

Since the comment form asks for my email address, it should be simple to save that e-dress with each posting, if this is not already being done. The "e-mail update notice to blog owner" code should then (with modifications) be able to backtrack through all the e-dresses of all the posts in that comment thread.

Even better would be if the feature was controllable, via one more checkbox on the comment form: "Notify via e-mail when new comments are posted?" Of course, this setting would also be saved in the cookie.

Posted by: john at Oct 17, 2002 10:08:24 AM

That makes sense: it might be safe to assume if someone leaves their email address that they want to be notified.Of course, how to deal with ? You'd want them to silently fail, rather than deal with a slew of bounces each time someone posts to a thread.

Posted by: paul at Oct 17, 2002 2:46:17 PM

Check it out: a new feature in Radio, comments in RSS feeds.

Posted by: john at Oct 18, 2002 1:49:08 PM