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Introducing linkrdr

I started work on a new site on Monday: linkrdr. It's the next generation feed reader for people who subscribe to tens or hundreds of feeds. linkrdr aggregates your feeds but more importantly, your links. It ranks links according to a relevance formula. Purely chronological based readers are just terrible at managing a mountain of links.

The idea for linkrdr came from a Hacker News post describing exactly the problem linkrdr solves. I realized I had exactly the same problem as the submitter: too many links, too little time. I don't want to miss out on a quality post on a blog that doesn't publish very often. At the same time, if there's a link that's showing up in a number of my feeds, it's a good bet that it's worth reading.

linkrdr calculates the relevance of a feed entry using two metrics: number of feeds appearing in and feed post frequency. If you subscribe to /r/programming and www.somerandomphysicsblog.com, you don't want new posts to have the same weight. /r/programming is updated constantly, so the chance that an individual entry in the feed is worth looking at is smaller than from a blog which updates once a week.

On the other hand, if I subscribe to /r/programming and a number of other programming feeds, and there's a link appearing in a bunch of them, I probably want to read it. linkrdr balances the two metrics to come up with a score for each entry in your feeds. It then presents your entries sorted by score, with what it determines to be the most relevant at the top.

Another problem with feed aggregators is that it's not always clear where something came from. In linkrdr, all entries list their sources with a link to the original page. So if a popular story was in four of your feeds, you would see one entry with "Citations" showing all of the feeds it appeared in.

You can (that is, you will be able to) use linkrdr to find new feeds to subscribe to as well. For each entry in your feed you'll see a "Show other feeds this appeared in" link. This will give you a list of all the currently tracked feeds that had the link, minus the ones you already subscribe to.

To find new content not in your feeds, you'll see a list of popular entries as determined by the number of feeds they appear in. If everyone on the Tubes is linking to something, it might be worth checking out even if it's not in one of your feeds.

linkrdr is by not even close to finished , nor even particularly usable at the moment, but progress is coming quickly. I'll describe more of linkrdr's functionality in future posts. For now, if you want to sign up for it while it's free (I may charge a one-time fee if I think the service is actually useful), go ahead and do so at linkrdr.com. I can't guarantee stuff will work but sign up at least should.

Questions or comments on Introducing linkrdr? Let me know in the comments below. Also, follow me on Twitter to see all of my blog posts and updates.

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