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How mobile News Rivers work

Dave Winer explains how mobile News River works.

From favorable comments, first in blogs and now in main stream media, I see News River picking up some steam. I don’t use a mobile device except for a cell phone. But I’m an RSS junkie. If I were using a mobile device, I could easily see how a news river would be most useful.

What is a river of feeds? From

Winer, …who recently began using a Blackberry wanted a way to keep up without being overwhelmed by the torrent of feeds in his computer-based news aggregator. His first examples are and, updated every 10 minutes to show the latest items at each site as posted. Each “river” has 250 items with the oldest dropping off as new ones are added; duplicates are pulled. To read the full stories, users have to click through to the site so traffic accrues to the news outlet.

And from Winer back in’05:

Instead of having to hunt for new stories by clicking on the titles of feeds, you just view the page of new stuff and scroll through it. It’s like sitting on the bank of a river, watching the boats go by. If you miss one, no big deal. You can even make the river flow backward by moving the scrollbar up. To me, this more approximates the way I read a print newspaper, actually it’s the way I wish I could read a print newspaper — instead of having to go to the stories, they come to me. This makes it easier for me to use my brain’s powerful scanning mechanism. It’s faster, I can subscribe to more, and my fingers do less work.

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