Tag Archives: attention tools

Major improvement to friendfeed

Having been away for 2 weeks, I have come back and noticed a major improvement to friendfeed – the tool I use to bring together all the information my connected network shares with me. It is extremely useful as not only does it give me access to the types of information that I want quickly, it also generates debate around that topic.

One of the major problems with the service though was that if I shared a news story and another 10 others shared it then it would appear 11 times in your news feed – needless to say that made finding unique stories more difficult. Unsurprisingly given the title of this post (!) friendfeed have fixed this and now groups all the same stories and its related comments together.

Of course, I can always see room for improvement 😉 I would now like to see the comments grouped together somehow so that they dont get lost in the grouped items below (see screenshot below to see what it is like now) – I can see why this might be difficult to do as you couldn’t group them by time – the only real answer is to have multiple threads of comments with maybe the most liked comments showing up.

In any case it remains one of my prime sources of information today – more on those later.

attensa releases new version :)

attensa logoAttensa released a new version of its rss reader for outlook/attention management software. Those who saw my presentation on attention data at barcamp london will have heard me talk about Attensa. It prioritises your feeds in a “river of news” view so that in theory at least you see the posts you want to first whilst still retaining the ability to jump easily to feeds you want to check less often.

The new version improved 2 key things for me – one was an error on startup of outlook (which when I ignored seemed not to interfere with the running of the software) and the other was the inability to use the scroll mouse with any accuracy. Both these have been fixed so I am now a very happy user of the Attensa reader 🙂

A desktop alert system was introduced in this release which I am hoping that it is just the first step along the way as all it does right now is tell you that a post has arrived from feed X. I’d much prefer it to tell me what the post is so that I can decide then and there whether I want to read it.

There are a few other major improvements i would like to see:

  • The first is to the river of news view – it still prioritises by feed rather than post – so even if some of the posts do not interest me at all they are prioritised along with the rest of them 🙁
  • The second is similar to the search boxes found all over Vista – the ability to type in a tag/keyword and immediately see the posts referring to it. I wonder if I would actually use this often but it certainly makes finding those posts easier and quicker 🙂

Overall though it is a very good RSS reader in itself (having the flexibility of both the river of news view, folders and integrated into the outlook application). It will be interesting to see how the attention management side of the application progresses over time as there is still plenty of room for improvement – not least by adding support for email.

solving the rss deluge 3 – touchstone

Well the hype and anticipation in my mind dissipated quite quickly – installing touchstone on my computer lasted all of 30 minutes. It is in alpha so I should not have expected so much but it is a shame nevertheless. It crashed constantly. I’ll install it on my non-production system and play with it there.

In the meantime it is back to Attensa for now..