One of the big topics of discussion at the bloggers dinner (after what weblogging package) was aggregators: favorites, the effect of, and what happens when you don’t have an rss feed. At one end of the table, NetNewsWire, Radio, an aggregator feeding into outlook, one in .net, and amphetadesk (I think) were represented.

I got some interesting looks from asserting that the rss/syndication system is going to end up redoing usenet, badly, as all peer to peer systems seem to end up doing.

Fundamentally, weblogs as rss and many other bulk feeds of data are very similar to usenet. There’s not much focus on formatting, it’s just data. Many feeds, many groups. A little crossposting, a little referrer spam. A link, a title, some description. Recent news is at the top of the spool, anything older than the last scan is quickly moved to archive status.

Usenet and mailing lists have been uneasily merged for 15 years or more. It’s crying out for an interface that allows you to scan lots of news quickly. Witness the rise of rss aggregators that are very similar to email clients, which have in turn been coevolving with news readers since the beginning. And news readers, in my experience, have the best interface for scanning huge numbers of posts in a short time.

Now there’s this: INN + blagg + plugin = News Aggregation via NNTP

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