June 30, 2008

mioNews Brings New Foldered Interface to FriendFeed

Another day brings another interesting new application using FriendFeed's API, attempting to give a new way for active users to sort their stream. Today's entrant, called mioNews, instead of trying to mimic the spartan FriendFeed interface, as many others have, brings an approach more commonly seen in RSS readers like Google Reader, or even e-mail applications, like Microsoft Outlook. The new, professional, look also comes with some new features to help users indicate stories they both "like" and "hate", as well as the option to follow specific topics.

The mioNews Interface: Click for Large version

Since FriendFeed introduced their API in March, we've seen new interfaces developed for mobile phones, iPhones, and the Web, using Ajax. We've seen options to highlight individual stories or users you've said you like, and others that help block individual keywords.

mioNews, authored by Patrick Lightbody, lets you carve up and read the updates in your feed by:

* Selecting topics, which shows the # of stories, and, when clicked, shows the stories in the main pane.
* Grouping friends in specific folders, as you specify.

Like in Google Reader, where you can choose to read full feeds, or just the title, mioNews, lets you show just the titles, or a short summary. Double-clicking on any item takes you to the item itself, be it from Twitter, a blog post, or a share in Google Reader. But more interestingly, you can turn on the site's Reading Pane, and like in Outlook, you can view the entire item, as well as take action on that item, including the ability to share, comment, like, or in a new wrinkle, hate a post. You can even mark all items as read, a feature many on FriendFeed have asked for, so far in vain.

The goal of mioNews, like NoiseRiver and FriendFeedMachine before it, is to help reduce the "noise" problem through giving you more control over selecting what you like and what you don't like. As Patrick writes in the introductory post, "instead of rating people and topics that you like/hate, mioNews asks you to like/hate individual articles. Then, using some autotagging secret sauce, the topics and people are tuned behind the scenes."

Provided you select topics that your friends are talking about in FriendFeed, mioNews will find it. It's no surprise they're often talking about Google, Twitter and FriendFeed. But if you branch out to sports, politics and the day's news, you might find some good gems in that rough.

mioNews' approach to the FriendFeed noise is unique. It might almost get on more desks at corporate, given how closely it approaches the look and feel of standard business applications. And as Patrick says, like NoiseRiver, it too is in alpha and much more is planned. You can keep up on mioNews in their room on FriendFeed here: http://friendfeed.com/rooms/mionews