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June 12, 2002

uses for aggregators

Paolo Valdemarin's weblog (excerpted below) suggests that the sources for news aggregators would include "reports generated by your accounting software, the status of your servers ..updates from your co-workers workflow management software." At first blush, this sounds great. But how do you prioritize those kinds of items? At what point does your news aggregator start to resemble the fire hose that email has turned into?

At least an aggregator only pulls in the sources that you select, but we've only removed some of the random junk from the information flow: we still have to make sense of it.  Radio's aggregator at least groups content by source, but it still harkens back to the early days of email: when you get enough stuff coming at you, it all starts to blur.

Scripting News: A news aggregator is "software that periodically reads a set of news sources, in one of several XML-based formats, finds the new bits, and displays them in reverse-chronological order on a single page." 

[Paolo comments] It's important to consider that "set of news sources" could also mean reports generated by your accounting software, status of your servers, posts in a discussion group, orders from your e-commerce site, updates from your co workers workflow management software ... got it?

[Paolo Valdemarin], found via [The Shifted Librarian].