April 1, 2004

Plus, I obviously need to add a picture to my header


Everyone's yakking about kinja, the new Nick Denton jam that's apparently some kind a kind of amped up web-based RSS-reader. Not being an RSS guy myself (I only added a feed a couple of weeks ago for those who are) I don't have much to compare it to. However, I feel obliged to talk about it since I don't want to look like an ingrate at the launch party tonight. Also, from what I can tell, the easiest way to get yourself onto Kinja's "showcase" page is to blog about Kinja.

To begin with, I think I get what Felix Salmon was griping about when he complained that most RSS feeds are set up to only serve the first 50 words of text, after which you have to click through the site. That's how Kinja works, and it's a really annoying way to browse. My ADD ain't that severe. On the other hand, it does have the benefit of being able to very quickly get a flavor for what's out there in a more compelling way than sites like Technorati or Blogdex do. I guess it's a happy-ish medium between those sites and Plastic, which is human-generated and more concerned with adding value to its links.

The advantage Kinja has over RSS readers, from what I can tell, is that it can introduce you to blogs that aren't already on your watchlist. Just poking around this morning I've seen one or two that I'll have to add to my regulars.

I don't know, though. After spending a little time with the site, I'm feeling pretty exhausted. A good filter should, you know, filter. Kinja is like a firehose of blogginess. It's too much, too fast. Even if there's a summary that looks intriguing enough to click through, I'm as likely as not to get distracted by something else on the page, and then again, and end up never reading anything in full. I think I'd rather read blogs the way I always have, sampling a few a day in depth. The risk of missing some intriguing topic is worth the benefit of being able to digest what I am reading. Maybe I'm too old (for this shit).

I will, however, try using Kinja more like a typical RSS reader and see if that helps — customizing it to only show the blogs I select. In otherwords, using it as RSS with training wheels, though I kind of doubt they're going to adopt that as a motto. (Oh wait, maybe they are).

Posted by Daniel Radosh


*gasp* My blog wasn't one of the ones that kinja turned you on to! Damn you, kinja! You golden calf, you!

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