Let Me Organize My Newsfeeds, Please

This is one of the more annoying things about using Userland software — it’s great if you happen to do things Just Like Dave Winer, but the software tends to leave you high and dry otherwise.

Dave thinks that all a news aggregator should do is present a reverse chronological view of the news rather than try to organize it. Try to organize the news? Who would want to do that?

Well, uh, I would like to do that, actually. I have to wonder just how many newsfeeds Dave actually subscribes to. I’m only subscribed to about 60, and even with Radio’s handy ability to e-mail me the new headlines in e-mail digests, the sheer number of new items is unwieldy and Radio desperately needs the ability to let me organize my newsfeeds.

What I’d really like is the ability to create my own categories, assign specific news feeds to them, and then receive the headlines in category-specific e-mails. For example, I have a lot of feeds that are international news. Some about animals. A few about feminism.

The entire experience would be much more useful if I could have three separate Radio news pages or three separate e-mails with one for international news, one for animal-related news, and one for stories about feminism.

As it is, I receive e-mails every hour which often contain 300 or more different stories with absolutely no organization whatsoever. I can’t even arrange it so that all of the newsfeeds about say, Africa, occur after each other which would at least be a start. Instead the first 10 stories might be from Moreover’s Africa feed, then 5-6 stories from an animal news feed then some tech news and then finally more stories from another news feed about Africa.

Reverse chronological display is okay if you’re only dealing with a small number of items, but when you start doing large volumes then it really sucks.

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