You may remember Fred Giasson, the brains behind Talk Digger, from this post I made last year where I showed how support for this neat search engine can be added to Awasu.
He published an article a few days ago asking some pretty good questions about the state of feed readers today:
...[feed readers] all do the same thing: aggregating RSS and Atom feeds content. After they will differ in the way they will manage and present the information. That’s it.
In that case, what is the next step with Web Feed Readers… if any?
If I check the big picture, I can find out one recurrent user state: they sat in front of their web feed reader passively reading their uninterrupted incoming flow of feed content.
And the most important one a little later:
people have all that content in their face, but what can they do with it?
Long-time readers of this weblog will know where this post is going so I won't bore you again with all the details about RSS as a transport mechanism for information, just read my old posts. He gives an example of details of an email being embedded into a feed item and it's easy to see how this kind of thing can be done for any kind of information and in particular, your kind of information.
But there's a critical difference between the question he asks (what can users do with all that content) and what Awasu offers. It's about what the program can do with all that content. If you just want to be a feed reader potato and sit in front of the computer churning through hundreds of feeds :-), that's perfectly OK but XML and the Semantic Web are all about computer-to-computer communication, providing a framework for computers to pass information around between themselves and do the requisite Cool and Amazing Things with it. And with plugin channels retrieving any kind of information from any location at all, and channel hooks able to analyze the information as it comes in and respond to it, you have the means to turn Awasu into a powerful and intelligent information processing tool. Cool and Amazing indeed
Check out my comments to his post for a heads-up on some of the features coming in the next release and you can read the original People are starting to get it! post here.