Balkanise our aggregators

Tom Coates wants to balkanise Blogdex:

The last couple of days have seen a Daypop and Blogdex Top 40 that are totally overwhelmed by political articles from the States. If it wasn't for the fact that many of these articles are concerned with the war in Iraq, you could be excused for thinking that nothing else was happening in the world at at all - even perhaps that there was no world outside the US.

The problem lies in the reliance of webloggers on those tools:

Blogdex, Daypop, Popdex, Technorati and the like are no longer simple reflectors of a community's activities - they are also one of our community's best mechanisms for news discovery. To some extent they're gradually becoming one of the most significant ways we find out what's going on in the world around us.

This tends to form an action-reaction system which has a tendency to form closed loops (it would be interesting to measure the amplification power of A-list webloggers, see how many echos of a story they can generate and how long they last).

I love Tom's idea to balkanise those tools. I'd love to be able to apply filters on all those "top-stories" aggregators and immediately filter a language, a country or a region in or out of the picture. What's hot among US webloggers? What's up in the EU? Compare things as viewed exclusively by US sites vs. the rest of us (you name it), would be a very valuable tool to better understand the world or, at least, each other.

1 TrackBack

Balkanise our aggregators from Roland Tanglao's Weblog on September 15, 2003 1:33 PM

(SOURCE: Balkanise our aggregators )- We need better filtering in RSS aggregators! Read More


I think it's a great idea. I tried to use the tools mentioned in Tom's post and found them completely useless within a week. Self-perpetuating drivel US style, a more variegated version, which takes into account your worldwide location would narrow down the score somewhat. Metadata based upon your political and/or social leanings would a good filter.

I do wonder how it would play out in countries where there are few if any webloggers or journal sites.

Good point. I tend to keep in mind that the Internet is not democratic in itself in that there is a significant barrier on entry (access, hardware, skills notwhistanding) and its worldwide spread is in disparate pockets (huge like in the US, non existent in many parts of the world). So we can't expect even some balance from such a project, just a slightly less biased view of the world by a fraction of the population.

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