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Information overload problems from UGC - RSS 2.0

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Information overload was always a problem in the internet world, but the trend towards web 2.0 and user generated content come a few other problems too,
  1. With the tremendous increase in the number of hands working on 'adding information' the rate at which the data addition is happening is also extremely high
  2. Quantum of data that is getting added on just about any topic you can think of is tremendously high.
  3. Content which used to come into the internet in the earlier era was somewhat validated and reviewed content but UGC thrives on peer reviews - this only means the ratio of 'useful' to possibly 'useless' content is falling and will continue to fall further
So did life get tougher on the net and nobody is doing anything about it - answer is a big NO. There are a range of solutions which exist for each of the points above which I will briefly discuss below

Rate of addition of data is increasing it only means that you need options to track where these additions are taking place and if you would be interested in the additions. There is a range of RSS feeders which are available which deliver changes to a set of sites (you choose them - which is a onetime effort though) to your site. But is this sufficient as a end user - probably not because you might not be interested in everything that a website adds. So you would need filters the additions to see what have been added in areas which you are interested and only deliver them to you. This is where companies like Blastfeed comes into play. Filtering is still in the early stages and am hoping to see lots and lots of innovation in this space as we move ahead.

The input into the whole business of receiving and filtering feeds is providing a list of feeds to track. So how does one arrive at that ? You fall back on content ranking sites like Digg , SlashdotFurl etc. All that these sites do is provide the community that is generating the content a platform to rank the content and then ensure that peer ranked content is found more easily and readily than the others. So automatically a pyramid of highly ranked content at the top (hopefully averaging the opinions of a large number of users also means that the relevant of the content that ends at the top is high) and 'useless' content at the bottom.

The large amount of data only means that people will look forward to players who aggregate content for quick and easy view of users. These players might employ some intelligence of their own - players such Digg , Slashdot , Furl or just aggregate information by grouping RSS feeds such as OriginalSignal , Popurls.

But in summary solutions to handle the information overload are in plenty and as we move forward these solutions will only become more and more efficient and user friendly.

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