James Robertson blogs about the way which his RSS reader has changed the way he consumes information. I’ve found exactly the same thing over the past few months. I can’t remember who it was that described the blog world as “like usenet, without the boring people”.
I find that the best way to find new interesting blogs is to assume that “X thinks Y’s blog is good” is transitive. So, I end up collecting new RSS feeds because they’ve been linked from one of my current feeds, or because they’re on the blogroll of a feed. I don’t always stick with them in the long term though. So, it’d be nice if an RSS reader could package up this behaviour somehow. Maybe you’d have a “Suggest five new feeds for me” feature? But an automated system would require metadata on each blog page to direct you to the RSS feed for that blog. This would let a program chase links between blogs and get to the RSS easily. I don’t know if that meta-information exists today.
The blogging world has been a great discovery for me. For the first time, I can tune into the thoughts of people who share the same niche interest as I do. This was never possible to the same degree with usenet or mailing lists. However, I’ve started suffering information overload from this! Reading everyone else’s blogs has just encouraged me to spend more and more time thinking and reading about programminging stuff. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem. However, I have a full-time programming job too, and as life would conspire, it has nothing to do with compilers or programming languages. I feel that I’ve recently been working two jobs instead of one – burning my brain at both ends, so to speak. Consequently, I’m making a conscious effort to spend less time doing computer-related stuff, in an effort to restore a bit of balance. I’ll be trimming out a lot of the “wasted time” I spend sitting on front of a computer. You know, like when you sit down to do one websearch and *pow* it’s suddenly two hours later? Anyhow, I know the world ain’t going to stop just because I don’t read about compilers for a week ..
GeoURL is a cool idea. It is a directory of blogs, indexed by longitude/latitude. So, you can use it to find blogs from people who live in a certain city or country.