Filtering Without Getting Trapped in the Fishbowl

Sep 24, 2008

I’ve just installed AideRSS into my Google Reader a few days ago. It’s an interesting plugin, but using it raised a couple of questions for me – that of staying above the noise.

In today’s world of the web, authority tends to be measured based on how many people link to something. Your Google ranking or Technorati authority is essentially based on the number of people who link to your website. I’m not sure how the AideRSS rankings work, but I assume it’s based on how many people read a post and things like that?

While I understand the need for an authorty system, and I understand why it’s done this way, it’s not a perfect system. As people start using these systems as filters, the higher you rank, the more likely your rank will increase. It’s sort of like an issue of “the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer”.

And this makes it even easier to get trapped in the fishbowl – to get trapped just reading what everyone else is reading. In doing so, it gets easier to get trapped writing similar things to everyone else – to get stuck on the same topics, similar viewpoints, etc.

Here’s my question. I understand why a filtering system is needed, there’s just too much noise and all to manage everything.

So how do you manage the filtering system while not getting trapped in the fishbowl?

How do you filter the information you read without getting stuck in reading and writing the same topics as everyone else?

How do you filter what you read – and still maintain originality and come up with something new?

Photo via cjhoffmann

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