Sunday 2011-02-13

Say you treated news as a pastime, the affairs of the world and its commentary as mere titillation, how should you organize your selection of news?

As a pastime, it fills in the time between our obligations, so we don't know how much news we're going to consume ahead of time. Perhaps an infinite queue of news ordered as to maximize our titillation would work? This sounds like several infinite-scroll resources online already.

However, frecency may not maximize titillation; the topic silos ensure a kind of mental lock-in, where we consume news of less interest because of the cost of switching silos.

Perhaps we can aggregate a number of silos and read the top-user-ranked articles in order of total score? While this seems an improvement, our preferences must match the average voting group member, and gross scores may not order optimally for titillation.

From finance, we know that portfolio performance largely results from asset allocation; what industries/countries you chose determined outcome more than which companies or when you purchased. We may obtain the same result with regards to news by creating a mashup of news feeds.

It may be that news presentation matters more than the news itself.