On Wednesday Dave Winer posted something interesting about Google and its search services.

Something that’s missing in Google’s repertoire of information searching tools. It’s something between Technorati, Google News, and Google itself. Think of it as the old-girlfriend query tool. Let’s say I used to date a woman named Tammy. From time to time I wonder what’s up with her. So I do a search, and find the same old links. I want to find all the new stuff. I don’t just want to search blogs, so it’s not what Technorati does. I don’t just care if she makes the news, so it isn’t what Google News does. For extra credit, I’d like it to come in RSS format so I can teach my aggregator to do this for me automatically.

BTW, once we get this feature, I predict the same kind of backlash that came when Facebook added rich RSS support. All of a sudden lurkers will have a new advantage, and the lurkees might not be happy about it.

I agree that it does touch the creepymeter for lurkers (although some folks who live in digital and celebrate it might not mind at all). But Dave hits the nail on the head with both the usage and the fact that it is missing from the market.

What I want is the unholy mashup of google/googlenews/technorati for corporations, governments (local, national, international), non-profits, etc.

I want an RSS feed for  JetBlue (a former client, and my all-time favorite airline). And I want to see all of the news stories (thanks googlenews), blog postings (technorati/icerocket/whoever is next) and new content found by the googlebots about JetBlue. It becomes a clipping service on crack – a lot like what PubSub was offering (although only RSS) before their demise.

Transparency is good for companies. Transparency is good for governments. Transparency is good for non-profits/NGOs/Organizations, etc. It may not be so great for individuals who want more privacy. What Dave is describing is the ability to look/watch/catch up with someone – its the root of something cool. I want to keep an eye on the people/groups/structures who affect our lives (governments), our well-being (HMOs, Hospitals), our finances (companies we invest in, the IRS, the Federal Reserve). If I trusted them all, they could put out their RSS feeds and I would watch.
It applies to pretty much any niche (woodworking, democratic politics, people, NY Yankees, Classic Chevys, Gourmets, Real Estate, etc.).

I love my aggregator because it pulls from the affinity groups/communities (blogs, news organizations) that interest me. Take Dave’s idea a step further, and give me a web/blog/news aggregator that pulls all of the video and audio clips that fit my criteria (let’s say, a local election):

  • a soundbyte from the radio
  • a clip from cnn
  • a video blogger who does an interview about the candidate
  • blog posts from folks who live or work on the campaign

Put it in RSS and it plays through my video aggregator as a channel (WHoooooooHOoooo Democracy Player).

We are becoming the editors (blogs), radio personalities (podcasting), video stars (video blogging) and network programmers (RSS, Aggregators, The Democracy Player).

This is Fun.

Leave a Reply