Feed Rivers Have Run Dry?

I was hitting the NY Times River that Dave Winer had put up and stumbled on this:

Over the years I’ve tried out lots of ideas, some work, others work a little, and some — not at all. The ones that work are worth keeping, the ones that don’t, they take care of themselves. But the ones in the middle can linger for years, not doing much for anyone, and costing both dollars and hassles to keep going.
Recently I’ve decided to start turning off the ones that sort-of work, the goal being to reduce the monetary and karmic cost of maintaining an online presence. This is one of the sites I’ve decided to retire.
A little philosophy. In order to get somewhere, you have to try lots of ideas, and most of them aren’t huge successes. But, imho, it’s good to try — it’s also good to know when it didn’t work.

That kinda sucks. I really enjoyed the NY Times and BBC rivers on my Treo 650 and PSP (yes, they worked great on PSP). It’s odd that Dave hasn’t directly addressed the end of the rivers on his site (the BBC river is gone too).
I really liked the concept behind rivers and there are other sites that are buying into it. There’s a Digg river and a Techmeme river.
I’m sort of bought into rivers as a great way to catch up on feeds – especially on portable devices that don’t have the luxury of a full screen and keyboard. At Arc90, we even took a stab at creating a generic feed-to-river tool that can turn any RSS feed into a river view (replete with mobile-friendly links to full articles).
RSS continues to be a bastard child out there. I’m a big fan but have resigned to the fact that it just hasn’t found that application to bring it to the masses. HTML was a truly game-changing invention, but it needed Mosaic browser to show its power to the world. RSS hasn’t found that killer app yet.

3 Comments Feed Rivers Have Run Dry?

  1. Gabe

    Yeah, sad to see them go. Honestly I never used them, but now that I’m using my mobile more, would have wanted to try them out.
    I don’t believe Techmeme’s rivers will attract huge interest (and even predicted that months ago here: http://scripting.wordpress.com/2006/03/10/river-of-meme-o-randum/#comment-2400 ), but they’re there for power users to occasionally scan through, for research purposes and for finding things to link to. So I expect to keep them around for a long time.

    Reply
  2. Richard Ziade

    That’s good to hear Gabe. Believe it or not – they work really great on a PSP.
    I think this is a similar problem to the iPod video usage: do people really want to? Or have time to…read stuff – especially stuff like this – on their phone?

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