Julien Genestoux – Follow buttons everywhere:
“Generally, users express a future interest when they hit a follow button. Rather than performing a query over past data, they express their interest in future, related events.
Following is to the future what searching is to the past.
They have an amazing value for the service who offers them too, because it’s a strong signal to determine what content is expected by its users on their next visit, or what kind of content they’re willing to be notified for.
[…] We need to decouple the publication platform and the consuming platform for public information. Decoupling would also increase engagement on the publishing platforms because it would open their gates to the logged-out users.”
Great post! Having a curator watch interesting topics for me, and letting me subscribe to these topic feeds, is what I see as an important part of the future of news. (See my – sorry, in German only – blog posts Software für Journalismus and Themenzentriertes Arbeiten.) It’s also why I keep pushing for RSS/Atom feeds and am looking into IndieWeb.
Decoupling is something that search engines are good at. A feed-reading, topic-centric search engine that always sorts by date and uses semantic metadata from the Web pages (especially which topics the author writes about, using URLs instead of hashtags) should be a great hub for “following”.