Finding ways to limit the firehose of information has become a common theme lately. I recently read this interesting post on TechCrunch highlighting the need to filter the noise. Then I read on Mashable about how Twitter can be such a time sink. Sarah Perez then goes into more detail stating that Real People Don’t Have Time for Social Media.
For me it has gotten to the point where I can’t really effectively keep track of all the people I’m following on Twitter as well as several other social & Lifestreaming services. The other day I stated that Twitter really needs to add a feature allowing us to put followers into groups for filtering. Loic Le Meur sent out a tweet stating that he was planning on creating a separate Twitter account just to follow his top friends before someone reminded him he’s got this great new Twitter client he may be able to use for filtering. I still think that the functionality needs to be added on the Twitter platform and accessible through the API for that to be effective or else you will have 3rd party apps using their own external implementation schemes which won’t be as elegant a solution or transferable for that matter.
There have been several services released that are now attacking this issue for RSS readers & aggregators using interesting methods to identify and increase visibility of the “good” stuff. They’re using algorithms that take into account trackbacks, comments, Google reader share volume, and other data points to show items that are popular.
FriendFeed bubbles up stream items based on comments and likes. Great if all of your friends are on that service, but I would want to factor the data on the source services to act as indicators for items I should view. For instance Flickr could provide data for images on times viewed, favorited, commented on, and external referrers as methods to increase importance of a stream item.
I have other thoughts on this as well as methods to filter Twitter but I won’t go into detail for fear of lulling you to sleep. I’ll try to take the time to collect these thoughts better in a future post.