Weblog news readers, or RSS aggregators, are an established genre of internet software and facilitate efficient consumption of the mass of content available in the xml format RSS across weblogs, news sites, and even search engines like MSN Search.
There’s a new form of aggregator cooking in a skunkworks MSN project at start.com/1. Aggregator software has typically come in a 2×2 matrix of flavors: internet or client, start.com is obviously internet. The 2nd dimension is more interesting: 3-pane (like outlook) versus merged views known as the river of news.
Start.com/1 offers something like the best of both worlds. The left hand lists the news sources but clicking on it doesn’t scroll you to the listing but rather moves that news source to the top of the “river of news” main pane. This re-ordering is sticky and will be retained when you revisit. Very handy. Of course, you can just scroll through the news if you prefer. Also merging the two models is the inline expansion of posts enabled by fancy client-side hijinx.
/1 is very unofficial right now but it’s such cool work we had to clue in our valued readers. Enjoy!
Andy Edmonds, Relevance Measurement PM
PS – Start.com/2 does some very interesting things with your favorites, try it out too.