Today I spent some time looking around for server-side RSS aggregators that would give me more configuration options than I can get in Bloglines. In the course of my travels I came across this interesting snippet, dated March 4 2003:
I looked at a couple of RSS aggregators the other day. These are programs that you run on your machine that allow you to subscribe to various weblogs that support a protocol called RSS. These programs make it easy to keep up with your favorite blogs.
I was very disappointed in what I saw, at least in terms of Linux based programs. Every one I looked at sucked. Couldn’t get any of them to work.
What’s interesting is that people have been focusing on creating client side RSS aggregators. I think the world needs a very good server side aggregator. I’d use it. You could do all sorts of interesting things with a server side aggregator. You could probably fund it with advertising (at least the Google style text advertising en vogue these days).
Did you ever read the Orson Scott Card book Ender’s Game? In the future world depicted in the book, there’s a vast computer network, a la the Internet, with discussion forums. While we aren’t lacking in discussion forums these days (mailing lists, USENET, web boards), I think a closer analogy to what was in the book would be blogs as viewed through an aggregator.
The source of this musing turns out to be none other than Mark Fletcher, the CEO of Bloglines. Nice to see what happens when someone is inspired to solve an obvious gap in the Net.