The River Of News

The River Of News: I loved this concept so much when I first heard it. Still do. Also known as conveyor-belt sushi.

The idea, as Dave Winer framed it:

“Instead of having to hunt for new stories by clicking on the titles of feeds, you just view the page of new stuff and scroll through it. It’s like sitting on the bank of a river, watching the boats go by. If you miss one, no big deal. You can even make the river flow backward by moving the scollbar up”

It’s why blog readers work so well, and why there is always room for new blogs. Go on, start one. You know you want to 🙂

Once you get used to using a blog reader, you can assimilate a lot of news, and trash, very quickly. You scan titles, read the stuff you want, gloss over the stuff you don’t. If you miss it, no big deal, you can always hunt backwards, if you can be bothered.

Performancing has a good post on the history of this concept:

As the river of news concept washes the Webosphere, the content generated by users (erm, I mean, the knowledge shared by the netizens) becomes outdated as soon as the attention-span of the article ends. For some posts, the span is as short as 30 seconds, for others it might last for weeks.”

I’d argue that’s both its main strength, and our weakness.

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