This past week I had an opportunity to sit down and have lunch with Scott Lockart and Kimberly Turner, the founding team of Regator (they left co-founder Chris Turner at home to code). Regator is a horizontal human powered blog aggregator. Kimberly is the the human editor of the service. She selects all the blogs that are included on the Regator service. In an effort to keep the quality of the content high she is very selective about the blogs that are included on Regator.
When Regator released their private beta last summer TechCrunch described the service as a "blog reader for the masses… best suited for users who aren't interested in heavy-duty blog reading." As a pretty heavy consuming blog kinda guy, I dismissed the service for personal use. Since then the company had a launch party, a facelift, a nice profile in the Atlanta paper, and participated in Startup Riot.
It was Scott's presentation at Startup Riot that made me start thinking of Regator in a new light. Within the first 30 seconds of his talk Scott mentioned "information overload." Information overload has been a subject of keen interest for me for quite some time. Most the the approaches that I have seen to overcome this for RSS feeds have been filter based thus far. Is editorial the solution? It works for Techmeme in a single vertical. Regardless, I believe in the short-term the answer to info overload may lie in organization versus filtering or semanitcs. As Tufte says "There is no such thing as information overload, only poor design."
Will Regator get me reading RSS feeds again? I don't know. But I am going to be spending a little time with it to see. And a little time with the Regator team to see if I can help them move their company along.
If you want to give Regator a whirl, the Demogirl walk through is a good place to start.