The search for Web filters

Anyone who spends any time with blogs and the Web winds up with hundreds of RSS feeds and sites they want to check — and yet there are always more, not to mention regular news sites. How best to filter all that? Sure, we could all just go to tech.memeorandum.com and leave it at that, but if you’re like me you just wind up subscribing to even more feeds and it compounds the problem.

Readers like Bloglines.com, NetNewsWire and NewsGator.com help, but even they can’t do it all. My colleague Mark Evans mentions Inform.com, which had a rather ignominious launch awhile back but seems to have ironed most of the bugs out. I like the ability to sort through news based on themes (they call it a “discovery path”), and to track those through other sources, but the interface seems a little on the complicated side, and I wonder if that will hold it back.

I’ve come across a couple of other attempts at solving the problem, and both are kind of interesting: Gritwire.com uses a desktop-style Flash interface and has some nice elements to it (although I’ve just started playing around with it — I think I came across it in Steve Rubel’s links one day) and Common Times goes at it a different way: it looks like a newspaper, but the articles are arranged based on a kind of del.icio.us-style social bookmarking process. It makes good use of Ajax and tags too. If you’ve tried either one, or know of any others along the same lines, drop me a note.

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