I hate it when people moan about the amount of email they get- which is certainly an idea a lot of people have at the minute. Personally, I have little trouble with email - my personal inbox has one mail in it, my business inbox eight. Because it is a psuedo-to-do list and I clear it out as often as possible (reply, archive or delete - a decision that only takes a fraction of a second per mail).
Where I do have a problem is my RSS feeds. When you switch on in the morning and see a thousand unread items that scanning is likely to take some time (I've got 181 to look at at the minute)
But Euan got me thinking.
A few years back Direct Line revolutionised insurance (if such a thing is possible in that type of industry). Instead of paying a broker to choose your insurance for you, why not go direct and pocket the difference? Of course, to compete, every other insurance firm had to open up their own direct sales channel. Which means, when it comes to choosing your insurance provider, you have to hunt through tens of sites, repeating your personal information over and over, getting unwanted spam and eventually settling on the first quote you got because you are so sick of the whole process.
So what has happened now? You get "price comparison" sites that "take the legwork out of choosing your insurance". Of course, these are free to you - they make their money by taking a commission on each sale. Sound familiar? That's right, it's the return of the broker, only this time on the web - and you pay the extra for the convenience.
How does this apply to RSS? Well, if this feed-overload continues (and it will take a while as there are still a sizable population that is not even aware of feeds) then what's the betting that there will soon be the equivalent of "information brokers" - you specify your interests and they give you the latest news and updates without all that tedious scanning and searching.
In other words, the return of the portal, only this time in NetNewsWire.