When talking about RSS aggregators the other day, one of my themes was that no one has come out with the ultimate RSS reader yet, so the race is still wide open. I also noted that a new product generally needs to be viewed as an evolutionary advance for most users to abandon the application they know and use for one they don’t and don’t.
Now comes word that Dave Winer is working on a new RSS aggregator. For those who don’t know, Dave is one of the pioneers of the whole RSS movement. So if he is working on a new way to read RSS feeds, you can be sure it will be newsworthy and very likely evolutionary. The fact that he’s creating it may be enough for most people to view it as evolutionary.
One of the features of his new aggregator he has talked about is the “river of news” approach to aggregation. Dave describes it like this: “To me, this more approximates the way I read a print newspaper, actually it’s the way I wish I could read a print newspaper — instead of having to go to the stories, they come to me.”
One of the reasons I believe the RSS application race is still very much on is because of the difficulty in presenting the information in a logical, intuitive and easy to navigate manner. I constantly find myself scrolling up, down and sideways, opening stories in new tabs and having to retrace my steps back to the topic list. If Dave’s new aggregator can make this process easier and move intuitive, it could be the killer RSS app we’re looking for.
I hope so.