Monday, April 24, 2006


Wired's Kevin Kelly reviews news-aggregation, headline-feed website


Wired Magazine's By Kevin Kelly maintains a personal website, and sends
out emails about "cool tools" he's found on the Internet. Here's a recent
email (which should show up on his website shortly)

By Kevin Kelly

Recently I surveyed the emerging web filters which rely on consensus methods
(see the CT review ) as a way
to quickly read what was happening in the world. I hypothesized that soon there
would be a meta-site that would aggregate all the consensus filters into one.
The next day Thomas Marban from Austria wrote me to say that he had already
written one, called I've been using it daily for the past month and
its great.

This single page now replaces my need to directly read Digg, Reddit,
Delicious, Furl, Slashdot, BoingBoing, NewsVine, Metafilter and all the
others that I subscribe too. This one page encapsulates up-to-the-minute
headlines from 15 consensus filters, and top thumbnail images from the
social sites Flickr, YouTube, and Google Video. The hive mind on one screen.

Here's how I use it. On one page I can scan the latest headlines of what the
web collectively thinks is either popular or interesting. A simple mouse
over the headline will cleverly reveal a small box of expanded text on the
article. If I want even more, a click will open the original entry in the
filter. In five minutes I can scan 18 social site sources thoroughly. I get
an excellent feel for what is new and what is worth following up (a small
amount of overlap between sources helps).

The design of PopUrls is brilliant. There's two flavors, black on white or
white on black. Function drives form, buttons are minimal. It feels like a
well-designed command post for a concise debriefing. Even on a large
screen, like the 21-incher I use, there's a bit of scrolling. But I've come
to realize that I MUCH prefer this single fixed sheet to endless RSS feeds
in a reader. In fact, the page is essentially an improved interface for
multiple RSS feeds, which keep PopUrls constantly updated. The dashboard
doesn't move, while all the streams flowing into it keep it lively.

There's no better way to watch the hive mind.

-- KK


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