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Has anyone conducted usability sessions on this "River of News" type of design? How well would this work on a technology oriented site? What usability issues still need to be addressed?

a. Is there any way from stopping the River of News from getting polluted with posts all pertaining to the same discussion of piece of content? i.e., multiple replies to the same forum post

b. Any way to filter the river so that I can see more items of interest to me? .. Facebook allows this to a small degree based on the person .. would be great to filter by keyword or topics of interest too

11. Can we provide a way for a user to easily find old links in the river from previous days/weeks? Maybe by adding "View older posts" like on Facebook, or "Yesterday's News" like on slashdot.org.

c. With the RON, everything is so time dependent that users may end up feeling that they are missing content, for example with Facebook, I am always left wondering if I miss anything important that was posted since I last checked it a couple of weeks ago. Any suggestions on how to improve this RSS and RON issue?

d. With the RON, is there any way to have good articles or posts float to the top? like Slashdot http://slashdot.org/ and TechMeme.

e. it would be cool if we had an expand and collapse version of the RON ... slashdot calls their collapsed version "firehose" ... catchy term: http://slashdot.org/firehose.shtml and their expanded version (their homepage) includes ways to filter the content, comment ...etc.


xian here: there probably should be a "river of news" pattern. where would we put it though? maybe a variation on activity streams, which is pretty similar?

techmeme has a "firehose" version for twitter, rss, and mobile readers, I think - similar idea.

part of Dave Winer's original concept (he coined the term "river of news") is that you *don't* go back in time and you don't try to "keep up" or feel guilty about unread items, as in the typical email reader interface.

anyway, these are all good questions. consider adding them to the activity streams pattern's talk page?