Friday, May 10, 2013

Learning is better than Liking

So, since Google has decided to abandon Reader, I have to fool around with all these other RSS products. All the other RSS products, at least so far, haven't implemented that fullscreen view where you can just read through a river of news. Most of these rss products want to be social in some way or the other. Everybody has a like button. As a consequence, if there are any posts shared in anyway, they are cutesy, milquetoast, and often feminist. Middle class chicks with too much time on their hands.

The like button sucks.

Here is a better way. An even smaller group of people- at least I would imagine- than people who use RSS, are people who use Spaced Repetition Software. Now, if you are running a service, where you are putting RSS in front of people's eyes, it wouldn't be too hard to put RSS and stuff people want to remember in front of their eyes according to the SRS algorithm. So, if you just had a reader, with no interest in this, the thing wouldn't appear, but if some really heavy content showed up in a feed one day, and I say to myself, "I really need to remember this," so I queue it into the SRS. Or, maybe it is even more awesome than that, so I right click and make a couple of SRS flash cards out of the original text, and possibly go define some terms that were in the post, and add those to my SRS deck...

Do you see where I am going here?

So, you are running this small service for nuts who actually like both RSS and SRS, and information rich stuff is getting shared. The people who want to learn, tend to learn, and as such, are more likely to leave an enriching comment on a blog. Guess what else is out there that sucks? Comment systems. There are feeds for comments. If the comments are any good, they are likely to cause readers to generate more SRS flash cards. You can develop a reputation for commenters.

Maybe your last attempt to use the wisdom of crowds failed miserably. The answer might be to find a wiser crowd.

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