Blogging infrequently is a feature, not a bug, part 2
8. How does auto-sort work?
When viewing all items, you can click "View settings" to choose a sorting order. Auto-sort works by prioritizing subscriptions with fewer items. This means that your friend's blog with an item a month will not be drowned out by higher volume sites such as the New York Times because we'll raise it to the top.
Auto-sort is a great idea, but unfortunately doesn’t work for me because it doesn’t take into account how important I consider each blog. I subscribe to 258 blogs but only read the “high importance” ones religiously, reading the medium-importance ones when I have time and the low-importance ones only rarely. I could of course prune out the low-importance ones, as many people do, but as my interests shift the importance of a blog can change, and I don’t want to lose the information about which posts I’ve read.
Perhaps the Google Reader people could make auto-sort more sophisticated by letting the user define the priority algorithm. Suppose that I’ve defined the tags “high” (for high-importance blogs) and “medium” (for medium-importance blogs), in addition to the two built-in tags of Starred items and Shared items. I could then be given a page that looked like this:
_ points for: Infrequent
_ points for: Starred items
_ points for: Shared items
_ points for: high
_ points for: medium
and I could enter numbers like this:
5 points for: Infrequent
0 points for: Starred items
0 points for: Shared items
5 points for: high
3 points for: medium
Then with auto-sort the posts that had the most points would be shown at the top, with both infrequency and importance taken into account.