Saturday, May 21, 2005

RSS needs a Personal Portal Server

I'll admit, I'm really behind the scene on adopting RSS feeds as a primary source of information. Chiefly, I haven't found an aggregator that I particularly like. I gave it another try today using SharpReader, so we'll see how it goes.

My primary problem is that I don't want to think of news items (and blog entries, etc) as email, which is what aggregators seem to do. I want a portal-like interface, and do everything from my browser, but I don't want to run a dedicated portal server, and I don't want feeds to be collected at the time that I request them.

What I really want is a personal portal server to augment my browsing. I already have a pretty predictable list of sites that I visit multiple times a day, and most visits are only to see if anything new was added. What the personal portal server (running on my PC) would do is periodically crawl those sites or RSS feeds, get the new info, and compile into my portal page. When I get the urge to surf, my browser only needs to load the "compiled" portal page from the local hard drive, instead of going to some overpowered server chunking through code to assemble my page on-the-fly.