Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Google Reader gets magic

Something I have long desired in a feed reader is magic. Not just magic, but personalized magic. I was all excited with Google Reader's "auto" sorting, which turned out to be less than useful. The problem was that it was not personalized.

I had even thought about creating a "smart" reader. Something as simple as a naive bayes filter seemed like it would be a step in the right direction. If I can teach a computer to recognize spam, then why can't I teach it to recognize the feed articles that I enjoy? I had experimented with such a smart reader, but it was never enough of a problem for me to pursue it far enough.

Enter Google Reader's new "magic" sorting. Unlike the previous "auto" sorting, this one is personalized. It takes into account the articles that I "like", "star" and "share." I've been a big fan of true personalization. Sites like digg and reddit (and postrank in the blogosphere) are nice, but I don't want to read what the "community" finds interesting--which is often puerile 13 year old male content--I want to read what I find interesting.

Finally a feed reader seems to have what I'm looking for: true personalization. I plan on using this feature, and I hope I won't be disappointed.

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