My Photo
Name:
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I've been online since 1971 and I like to smoothe the way for everyone else. Among other things I co-founded Sympatico, the world's first easy-to-use Internet service (and Canada's largest).

View Rohan Jayasekera's profile on LinkedIn Rohan Jayasekera's Facebook profile twitter / RohanSJ
Subscribe in a reader

Or enter your email address:

Powered by FeedBlitz

Friday, March 16, 2007

Blogging infrequently is a feature, not a bug, part 2

In my earlier post Blogging infrequently is a feature, not a bug I said that I’m more likely to read blogs that have fewer posts. Well, I learned today that my blog-reader, Google Reader, actually added support for this in mid-December! From Google Reader - Common Questions:

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.

2 Comments:

Blogger Ryan said...

Hey Rohan,

You can actually define the view type not just for the "all" section but for each tag/label and even each individual feed.

What I've done is make a "must-read" group and tag any blogs that I make a point of reading with it. This at least helps filter the cream of the crop out from all the others.

Friday, March 16, 2007 at 10:15:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Rohan Jayasekera said...

Ryan, I do the same with the blogs I've tagged high-importance: I read everything in them, so I don't need auto-sort there. But until I saw your comment I didn't know that I could apply auto-sort to my folder of medium-priority blogs (Google's help page doesn't mention that). I've done that now and it's very helpful. Thanks!

Sunday, March 18, 2007 at 1:01:00 PM EDT  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home