Adobe Labs offers myFeedz 'social newspaper'

Adobe Labs is hosting the myFeedz site, which organizes RSS feeds on the basis of content tags.

Adobe Systems released a technology preview version of a "social newspaper" site called myFeedz, which sift through RSS feeds on the basis of user-defined tags. The site had been in public testing since August, but now is an official part of Adobe Labs and an comes with an official logo using Adobe's official typeface.

myFeedz begins with a standard RSS reader format but tailors the feeds according to content tags users can set. In addition, myFeedz suggests tags based on the feeds selected in users' OPML files--which for those of you who don't parse XML in your sleep is basically the list of blogs, news sites or other content sources a person has subscribed to.

It's the latest stage in the gradual Webification of a company best known for content-creation tools such as Photoshop. Some earlier efforts in this new era are closer to its content-creation roots--for example the Kuler site for creating and reviewing color schemes or the JamJar site for online collaboration. And its Apollo technology is designed to underpin rich Web applications that work online or offline.

Adobe's myFeedz site CNET Networks

Adobe Labs announced its myFeedz involvement Thursday. "More than an RSS reader, myFeedz is designed to help you keep track with the latest news and trends on the Internet, offer you articles relevant to your interests, and reduce the information overload," Adobe said of its project. "It learns from your reading habits and helps you keep up with your interests by offering personalized content."

myFeeds users also can publish their myFeeds page as an RSS feed for others to subscribe to. The site also lets users save articles for later reference.

It's definitely a beta site, though. Sometimes I got no feedback when adding tags to my lists of desired or off-limits lists, and I had a hard time getting new tags to register. The system-suggested tags, however, were a reasonable reflection the interests reflected by my subscription list.

Also, of course, a tag-based system is only as good as the tags that label subscription feeds. "Work" or "company" are not useful to me, and why is "york" in my list?.

The myFeedz element I'm most skeptical about is whether it actually reduces any information overload. I have hundreds of feeds, and I've yet to find a silver bullet for quickly retrieving the most important blog postings. However, sifting by subject is a nice option compared to the hierarchical list I'm accustomed to with my regular reader, Bloglines.

Adobe also has set up a myFeedz development blog for those who want to keep up to date and a forum for those who wish to rant.

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About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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