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Super Human Filters

12 Jul 2009

Should We Self Filter Our Status Stream?

While reading Fred Wilsons post on spamming your followers, a series of thoughts triggered as is usually my experience. The post discusses how he inadvertently spammed people that follow him with an automated message. Fred goes on to describe how he self filters his stream as not to spam his followers with more than about six messages per day.

Dave Winer commented via friendfeed that he wants Fred's genuine status stream, not a self filtered version that Fred Wilson believes would please the majority of his followers.

My solution (a comment back to Fred Wilson on AVC):

You raise some important style questions. How should we treat our followers and the information within twitter and other open social media. I believe that the tools that add to the noise will ultimately lose out by folks unfollowing spammy streams. The information retrieval tools that learn from our streams and our friends streams without cluttering the data will benefit from rapid user acceptance. Imagine hype stream getting the meta data of your tweets, identifying when you naturally chat about music without a hashtag.

I like the concept of filtering the stream, and customizing the type of messages I receive from folks I follow. This allows me to effectively follow more people, but only select tweets/friendfeed statuses/disqus comments that pertain to topics I'm interested in.

I can use friendfeed for some of that now, but what I'm really looking forward to is real time semantic extraction, and meta data filters of streams (another application of the intelligent search/ad tool I'm going to keep working on thanks to Zemanta's hard work). That type of product will allow us all to become less inhibited by the fear of spamming our followers and lead to a richer and more personalized user experience.

The UI will have to be cleverly designed to allow simple adding of known user tags (derived from previous tweets). This could apply outside of text to images, music, movies or alternative media as long as proper extraction algorithms are used.

And one of the shoddiest videos ever (I promise they'll get better if I decide to keep making them).

My Super Human Filters

As a follow-on I'd like to share my not so secret source of great infromation from friendfeed and beyond. These folks really act as my super human filters to relevant internet content both new and old on a daily basis. Their observations and experiences are shared as well their favorite content (by the simple like function).

View my FriendFeed
An avid blogger who I like to think of as a thought leader who also happens to be a VC. Fred get's a kick out of inspiring questions and conversations about a wide range of topics. His posts cover trends in social media, web tech, business, finance, music, open vs. closed business philosophies, as well as relationship advice.

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Robert Scoble has been pursuing his passion for some time. As an UBER geek and conversational early adopter, he meets fanastic new tech startup founders on a regular basis. He's also one of the creative forces behind building43, a community gathering effort to help bridge the gap between businesses and the web of 2010.

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Although I just recently discovered Dave Winer, he has a long history of tech contributions (content manager/protocols) and an avid web blogger with Scripting News a 12 year old blog. His views on developing web technologies are spot on.

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Louis Gray tirelessly captures the moment as a renaissance media reporter, and gifted blogger. His unfiltered approach to solo blogging has created great value for his readers. I can't keep up with the dozens of posts that get generated by TechCrunch or Mashup but I can follow what Louis is up to on friendfeed.

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I first discovered Matt Cutts earlier this year while researching web marketing for a squidoo lens I put together. After tuning in to Matt's blog posts and videos for a while I realized how deep the rabbit hole goes when it comes to web marketing.

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Paul Buchheit the designer and lead developer of Gmail has moved on from Google to take an entrepreneurial role as one of the founders of friendfeed. Paul has a wide range of interests, but his choice of topics and well developed comments make his posts an excellent source of information. I feel compelled to try and sell Paul on an idea I have for connecting users and personalized ads, but I think he's got his hands full.

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Although I met Jim Connolly while hanging out on friendfeed, I had followed him as TheTechNewsBlog on twitter for a time before that. Jim provides great information on current tech happenings and is wonderfully conversational. He also happens to own one of Europe's most popular marketing blogs.

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FF Enigma, aka Tina has interests that are so far removed from my own that I couldn't help but add her to the list. Tina is very friendly and super active on friendfeed. From gardening (I tried it's now a jungle in my backyard), to rollerskating, to cooking (I make eggs), I like to think of Tina's posts as a perspective so alien to my own that I can't help but learn something.

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Tad, X (dynamic descriptor) is a programmer and family man with a vibrant sense of humor. Tuning into Tad <X> has not only been educational (he's interested in similar tech), but very enjoyable. He has a keen eye for things that need fixing, and doesn't hesitate to comment on them.

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Logical Extremes shares great discoveries on his web browsing journeys on a regular basis when he's not travelling the world (he hasn't been as active the past few weeks, I can only assume from his photo shares that he's travelling). I greatly appreciate his view of developing web technology and have benefited from his insights on several occasions.

Unfortunately I'm unable at this time to share my list feed on the blog with embedded code. As soon as I can, I'll jump back to this post and enter it here. You'll just have to trust me until then that these folks are worth following.