NewsFlash: a feed-reader for firehose drinkersi
Are you a voracious reader? Do you laugh at people who use bookmarks for their
daily news? Do you
subscribe to hundreds of feeds?
Do you find yourself constantly falling behind on your reading?
Struggling to sift through the junk that's found its way in? Wanting a time-out?
Coming up with hacks
to clear your inbox?
Do you find that you're second-guessing yourself when adding a new feed?
I like this post. I want to subscribe for more great posts.
But will they all be good?
Will he flood my feedreader like Volokh did?
Perhaps I should watch it awhile before adding it.
But d'uh, the feed-reader is how I watch stuff.
Do you worry about missing out on interesting stories?
Whoa, I knew this guy was a keeper. What if it hadn't shown up on Digg? (ugh)
(Ok, maybe you're not as neurotic as me.)
Surfing the web should be fun. But small stresses can add up
We shouldn't be constantly nagged
about all the stuff we haven't read yet. We shouldn't worry about some people
publishing too often (and neither should they).
The solution: NewsFlash
- Flashcard interface. Read one post at a time. You may spend just a
second on it, but focus.
- Simple UI. See that large, friendly blue bar on the left? Click to
flip to the next post. The rest is up to your browser.
- Simple feed management—just a flat list of URLs in a file.
- Simple prioritization. Feeds higher up will get higher priority, so
add your A-list first.
- Fairness for all feeds. The next post will be from a different feed.
- Serendipity. You never know what you'll get next. Especially if you
insert the word 'RANDOM' after the A-list feeds.
- Drowning in junk? Hit reload to go back to your A-list.
- You'll need to run rails.
- You'll need to crawl your own feeds. This isn't as intimidating as it
sounds. Crawling 600 feeds takes an hour, and I run it as a cron job every
- Sometimes a post will render ugly as hell. (send me patches)
But if you're willing to put up with all that—you'll have control
(And a bonus: you'll be able to read your feeds offline.)
Bookmarks are great
But not for polling for updates.
Everytime you flip out of this post,
you get something from the next feed on your list. Or the next if there's
nothing unread in it.
Adding the word 'RANDOM' shuffles
feeds after that point in the list.