As an investor in an RSS aggregator (Newsgator – far and away the best of the reader platforms out there; although I suppose I’m biased) I pay attention to how people use syndication services and how they use, manage, manipulate and read their news and blog feeds. I’ve played around with some of the different technologies in the space – most of which are variations of the same theme (very effective for reading individual posts, not as effective for sorting through large amounts of information).
Today Adam Rentschler sent me links (here and here) to a couple of sites that use RSS feeds (and a Google-like measure of what certain news sources are reporting on) to create a visual map of the news and events that are being reported on/talked about. The technology behind this was created by the Hive Group.
To borrow from Adam’s note to me “creative data representation is cool stuff”
True, but what would be even cooler would be the ability to create custom data representations. What if you could pick the source data for the honeycombs (The Hive Group’s term for their way of representing information)? Have one for your favorite news sources. Another for blogs. Better yet, one for the hundreds of blogs that you want to read but never have the chance to. How about a map of all the speech in the blogsphere (Dave S? Howard K?). It’d be a fast and effective way to see what people are talking about.
Yup – that really would be cool . . .