Thursday, October 2, 2008

Syndication in 2009

Had some thoughts on what could be done with Feed Aggregation sites such as and where it may all go. I decided to consider where we are, the problems we currently have and the inevitable move towards syndication for all.

This is a picture of where we stand today - a very much limited set of pre-defined feeds we can subscribe to (some such as twitter are doing some good work on improving this for their search).

So where are we going? Well, everyone needs to open up - and there are a whole load of good advantages to doing so. Personally, i think the fact we will be able to write complex queries is a major advantage - users are just never going to learn anything more than AND/OR - but we can improve their results by employing the advanced capabilities of search engine logic and API's.

Additionally we want to start using the Semantic Web, but how a user would work with Google Base or FreeBase etc isn't entirely straightforward. It really comes down to either providing an interface they can build upon or writing the queries for them - perhaps in a templated more to substitute their specific query (ala OpenSearch).

Whatever method is used people want RSS/Atom. Feeds just now are starting to get out of control because even a reliable source have a small percentage of data you really want. We now need to be able to write custom queries to request exactly what we want. To join, filter, deduplicate and so on.

I fully expect in the next year or so that the advances that have already started in these areas will only gain momentum and make it a hell of a lot easier for us to get results.

Will be see a "RSS" button on each page of the Google Search results by the end of 2009?

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