If you’re like me — and I know I am — you have hundreds of feeds in your feed reader and not enough time to wade through them all. Finding a way to sort through them all and get to the posts that are most “important” or interesting is a conundrum that I and many others continue to wrestle with. It’s why Techmeme.com continues to be so handy, despite what some see as its “echo chamber”-type flaws (for the record, I am a big fan of Techmeme).
Ilya Grigorik and his team at Waterloo-based AideRSS — which launched today — are taking a page from Google’s book in an attempt to solve the RSS problem. In the same way that the search engine uses an algorithm called PageRank to sort pages based on who links to them, AideRSS uses a filtering system called PostRank to show you the posts in a blog’s feed that are getting the most attention in the form of readers, links, comments, Digg submissions and so on (Josh Catone has an in-depth look at Read/Write Web and Ilya describes PostRank on his blog).
Ilya was kind enough to give me a trial account to AideRSS, and while I haven’t had all that much time to play around with it (vacation in an Internet-challenged location got in the way), I think the company is onto something. I’m not sure if I want AideRSS to determine which posts I read all the time — I like a certain haphazard, serendipitous approach as well — but it is definitely worth monitoring, and like Google’s PageRank it will likely improve over time. My smart mesh friend Ethan Kaplan of Blackrimglasses has some thoughts here.