It’s so Hot in Here

Posted on 12 Februar, 2011

Introduction

As an iOS developer (and a tech nerd as per definition) you want to keep tabs on what’s going on in the tech world. Many of you surely have a list of preferred tech news sites you follow. In today’s post I want to show you a nifty tool that solves the problem of the information overload and omnipresent guilt when one fails to stay up to date with the latest news.

The Problem

This is easy to describe as I am sure that virtually anyone in our business is aware of it.
You want to follow as many news sites and blogs as possible. At first you create a sizeable collection of really useful and cool news sites and dump it into your feed reader. And here’s where the problem starts. As noble as your intention was to follow every news bit, the sheer mass makes it impossible. This is – if you want to get anything else done besides reading news all day. I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand to see this red bubble at the top right corner of an icon. This nagging feeling that there is something (presumably exciting and important) makes me want to open the feed reader and see what’s new. This positive feeling turns into ugly guilt when there are hundreds of unread items. And “mark all as read” is not a solution – but rather resignation.

Fever

Fever is a personal recommendation engine by Shaun Inman . It is a web application that you have to install and run on your own Linux based server.
The way it works is pretty clever. At first you subscribe to as many feeds as you like – the more the better. Then there are three important categories: Hot, Kindling and Sparks.

Kindling contains the feeds that you absolutely want to follow – the essential ones. Sparks contains everything else like big aggregating news sites and generally news sites that have a high throughput. Finally Hot is the category you will want to use most of the time. This is where Fever ranks the most important news based on their importance. This is determined by the their re-linking and the amount of discussion they generated. Fever uses the feeds from the Sparks category to generate the rankings in the Hot category. A nice touch is the temperature based theme. It is related to the human body temperature.

You can set the time period in the Hot category if you want to catch-up with older news. Fever is very keyboard friendly. There is rarely a need to use the mouse.

Conclusion

Fever is perfect suited if you want to stay up to date without having to scan hundreds of headlines. Since it works on feeds you subscribed to generate the ranking in the Hot category, it is your very own personal recommendation engine. So less time spent on reading news means more time for coding :)

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