Today’s RSS is yesterday’s “smart filter”

When this comes to pass — and come it will! — then they will know that a prophet has been among them. Eze 33:33

Tech prophet Frank Catalano has republished an essay written in 1991 that introduced the idea of “smart filters” for consumers getting news. Can anybody say RSS?

While the technological future appears bright for news junkies, as with duct tape and the Force, there is both a light side and a dark side. Will, for example, people hear the things they need to know, as well as the things they want to hear? It’s pretty difficult these days to tune out news about a Presidential election, or a major poisoning scare. But if your smart filter has been expressly told to ignore news items of general interest, will you hear about them other than over the office water cooler? Will it be too late to respond properly? Might not a national government require certain news items get a “universal” tag to make sure every filter puts it through?
This essay also uses the phrase “Democratization of Information,” about which I now write daily. Good stuff. I hope to meet the prophet in November at Bloggercon III.

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