Part 2 - Skitzophrenia

I recently praised for being a pioneer in the feed reader arena.  The Importance metric made sure that you were reading things that were interesting to read.  It all but eliminated the ‘tl;dr’ syndrome for me.  Unfortunately, it was not always rainbows and lollipops with Cullect.

Cullect was very focused around sharing your list.  It had a number of options for sharing to services like twitter,, facebook, whatever you could think of.  That is fine for sharing individual items, but the real gain would come from sharing a whole list.  You see the importance rank can work for you: it will make the best items from all time come to the top.  In this way, you put Cullect to work as a curation tool, hiding things that are irrelevant, and recommending items that you would like more of.  As a bonus, you can have multiple people who are curating a list, recommending and hiding items as they see fit.

Now we get to the skitzophrenia though, because a list couldn’t serve two purposes at once.  If you have a reading list, you would hide items as soon as you had read them, because you’ve already seen the information.  Even if it’s the most important item tomorrow, you won’t want to read it again.  If you’re curating a list however, you never want to hide the most important items, making it a pain to skip past the ones that you’ve read every time.  Even on the most active topics, the most important items are static for hours or days.   If I’m curating a list, I always switch to the latest feed, so that I can look at the newest items and bump them up by recommending them if they are good.  Multiple curators make this an issue though, because my fellow curators may hide items that I could recommend.

You have two tools: a great reader that you can just sit down at and read for 10 minutes and know you’re reading new, interesting, “important” things, and a excellent tool for showing the best content in a particular area.  You can’t have your cake and eat it too though, which might be a feature that could push it over the top.   You can fix this by splitting the “read” and “hidden” flags in the database, so that curators can choose between the “important and not read” view and the “important all time” view.  You might even extend the concept to allow a user to decide how to time-limit the importance view.  This type of time-limiting is a powerful tool - you could build feeds that only show a single item from each day (or week.. or month), just the one that is most important.

This “concept problem” has been bouncing around in my head for a while now, but it’s still not fully formed for some weird reason.  It could indicate that I’m just not seeing the forest for the trees, or that I’m getting a little too hazy on the problem because there is so much which was done right with Cullect.

Next, I’ll talk about a feature that I’ve been wanting for a while in any reader, that seems like a slam dunk for Cullect.