Recommending RSS feeds on My Yahoo!

Former Yahoo! colleague Don Loeb (now at Feedburner) called out the recent addition of RSS feed recommendations to the My Yahoo! product. This module automatically bubbles up sources that you might want to add to your page so that you don’t have to hunt and peck so much to find stuff that matters to you.

It’s cool to see a technology work as it was intended…but then there are the surprises that aren’t intended that are even better than seeing something go as planned.

One interesting unintended outcome is that I’m actually discovering new blog posts to read that I would never otherwise find amongst my current list of feeds. And I don’t have to subscribe to the feeds to see these posts.

For example, Niall Kennedy’s blog was recommended to me in this new module and I learned that he’d just left Microsoft after a short stay with the team. I don’t currently subscribe to Niall’s blog and none of my feeds seemed to reference this news. Very impressive.

This is another example of the “Interestingness” concept Tim O’Reilly and Bradley Horowitz have written about this week.

You can get access to the recommendations module by clicking on the small promotional link in the “Inside My Yahoo!” module that comes as a default when you sign up for an account. The reason we’re not making more noise about this pilot is because we’re in test mode to see if it works and if people like it. Plus, it feels like the kind of feature you just expect from a personalized start page anyhow.

3 thoughts on “Recommending RSS feeds on My Yahoo!”

  1. If a user visits their aggregator with no new items to display perhaps a bigger recommendation screen could take over, helping you find more things to read.

    I also expect a break-down on a post and blog level, but blog-level is definitely much easier to accomplish in a “people who read x also read y” sort of way.

  2. This is a really cool feature and as a long time My Yahoo (power) user I’d happily take on board it’s suggestions.

    However can I use this platform to request a couple of other more urgent (imho) tweaks: 1) the ability to export one’s opml (not cos I want to leave, but it is my data after all and I also like to pass my subs on to friends!) and 2) better page performance (the 100 or so feeds on my page make it run pretty slowly and I can’t navigate away from the page without the browser hanging and getting a script error – but splitting feeds up onto multiple pages breaks the simplicity of the excellent myyahoo feedroll layout…)


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