Info Junkie Seeks a Better Tool, One Site to Rule Them All, Etc. Etc.
December 8, 2007 4:33 PM   Subscribe

Help me curb the info overload and start using web aggregators...

Hello Incredibly Useful Hive Mind,

Since like many of you I’m on the web so often all day (for work and also for amusement). I’ve become hooked on RSS and aggregators - I use Bloglines and Spokeo religiously, and while both of those handle individual RSS feeds I’m looking for other web aggregators you like. I’m referring more to sites like FoxyTune’s “FoxyPlanet” features, which pulls in from a bunch of sources online for music. (Note – I’m not affiliated with any of said companies other than being a happy user). I know I can probably build one of these using NetVibes, but don’t always have the time to do so, and if someone else has already built one and shares it, I’d love to use it.

So I’m asking for aggregator junkies to post your favs. It doesn’t have to be any specific topic – more like ‘is there an equivalent site like FoxyPlanet for tech sites, health sites, travel sites (other than Kayak), etc. etc. I haven’t played around much with Yahoo Pipes, so if I should, let me know if there are good aggregators there. Have people built great things out there? Let me know. Also any thoughts about portals versus aggregators would be welcome – pros and cons of each, although if that’s too chatfilter, just links to aggregation sites would be fine.

posted by rmm to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
A friend of mine has aggregated a lot of music download blogs on his personal website. I use it a lot for finding really obscure german prog, or funky as hell African funk. Hope that ticks some of your boxes.
posted by gergtreble at 5:50 PM on December 8, 2007

Best answer: In many cases "planet" sites are ineffective to subscribe to as they merely collect together posts from a wide range of blogs and publications, even including posts on those blogs that are irrelevant to the planet's topic. Some planets are trying to come up with clever ways to resolve this, but on the whole blogs with a proper editorial process that summarize a single industry tend to do a lot better (for example, TechCrunch/ReadWriteWeb or Engadget, versus amalgamations of Web 2.0 or electronics blogs).

My personal advice, and what I do myself, is to find blogs that are particularly authoritative in each area I'm interested in, and then subscribe to those. I then trust that those "top" blogs will keep their finger on the pulse of their topic. I run such a blog myself, Ruby Inside, which is the #1 most subscribed Ruby blog and many readers have let me know they've stopped using the various Ruby "planet" sites because of this.

Another tactic I've used in the past is to subscribe to the RSS feeds of searches on sites such as Reddit (who removed this feature recently), Digg, Google Blogs, etc, for the words and queries I'm interested in. So if you're interested in, say, Ron Paul, you could search at those sites for "Ron Paul" then subscribe to the results.

Lastly, is excellent for this. For example, if you want to keep up to date with all the latest "programming" related links, just subscribe to the feed offered from What about art? and so on and so forth.
posted by wackybrit at 6:08 PM on December 8, 2007

Best answer: I have to agree with wackybrit on this one... it might take longer, but your best bet is to gather up a list of "daily reads" (authoritative blogs in each subject matter you are interested in).. and just reference those. I keep a mental list of about 10 blogs I try to hit every day (and many more in my Google Bookmarks)

Here are a few that I read.... to keep my finger on the pulse of the internets popular "memes of the moment" :

Original Signal
The Weblist

And some nifty blogs that I find indispensible:

And of course... Metafilter and Digg... :)

Have 1 favorite website..and want to find others like it ?.... try
posted by jmnugent at 11:09 AM on December 9, 2007

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