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On the aggregation of personal feeds

I've been entertained by a conversation that's been bouncing around the blogsphere the past couple days. On the 31st, I finally gave into feedburner and consolidated my feeds. A day later, Haughey posted a complaint about daily links polluting feeds, which lead to Dave Shea offering a more specific commentary relating to del.icio.us/Flickr/feedburner, which finally lead to this plasticbag post on hybridization of RSS feeds. In summary/general consensus: daily links within blog feeds can be annoying because in your RSS reader you can't distinguish between "kwc wrote a new blog entry" and "kwc added a new link to del.icio.us." For more entertaining authors than myself, the anticipation of an new entry is followed by a feeling of letdown when all you discover is a link.

(I would like to think that it was my act of adding a hybridized feed that led to this conversation, but feedburner tells me that no one is actually subscribed to my combined feeds, so commonsense and empirical evidence demonstrate otherwise.)

My own thoughts on this issue are that I personally don't find consolidated feeds (links + blog posts) useful. I would rather subscribe to someone's feeds individually. When I am searching out new, interesting links, my friends' sites are usually the last place I would look because I believe the process of searching out fresh links is more of a critical mass effort, one that is better suited to large sites like BoingBoing/waxy/kottke. Conversely, while I appreciate it when I see personal photos spliced into my friend's blogs, I find it rather annoying that Haughey's feed includes his Flickr photos; while I appreciate his links and his blog entries, the last thing I want to do is see his personal photos from his daily life (no offense, but I just don't know the guy -- it feels too voyeuristic).

I think every site should offer a consolidated feed (with separate, individual feeds as well), not because it the best way of reading a person's daily production, but because it is useful to be able to point to a single source as the aggregated representation of your digital identity. The single source including daily links acts as a sort of "Director's Commentary" for a DVD, providing the interspersing the source material and the creative product -- what made the cut, what didn't, what's in the pipeline. But, although I love most of the movies in my collection, I bet that I've listened to less than 10% of the commentaries.

Comments (2)

bp:

Hrm, all good points.

I'll have to consider removing my delicious stuff from my feed again. I'm ok with the flickr integration, since I only plan to include stuff there that I would normally explicitly blog - I added a specific tag to match, and so it's effectively just an easier way to post stuff to my blog, w/o having to actually post it to my blog. Hrm, maybe that's not what I want... Alright, I'll have to think about it. Multiple feeds is complicated in its own rights, though.

kwc:

What's the issue(s) with multiple feeds?

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