Swapping drugs

No, not really.  But this IS about sharing subscriptions (not prescriptions I know, but make the jump with me, ok?).

I have a number of friends.  They all have their favorite blogs.  They all have their own information “feeds”. 

I have my own daily “fixes” – and they change fairly often.  Only about 40% of my feeds remain constant over a year or so.

So what if I wanted to keep my friends up to date on what I was reading, and they wanted to do the same for me?  How do you easily and seamlessly keep people informed on what you are reading?

You could use Dave Winer’s Shared OPML – but that isn’t a one-to-one solution – I can tell what “people” in general like, but I can’t really tell what you like.  Imagine I care what you like, and that I want to follow the same type of sites you do.  Imagine you have weight, and trust,  and relevance to me.  Imagine I consider you an authority.  I may be interested in what you are interested in.

This is actually a problem searching for a Social Networking solution.  Imagine a site where I have a “ring of friends” and all of our feeds are know to each other, shared with each other, voted on by each other.  Imagine aggregating that information not just within my group of friends, but all of their groups of friends.

Imagine if your RSS reader prompted you that “four of your friends have added the blog “STUFF” in the last two days”.  Would you be more willing to read it?  Imagine you had a one-click subscription in the notice and that you could easily subscribe and see what your friends are all interested in.  Imagine you also got negative notifications when your friends unsubscribed to a blog.

I’m not sure how useful this would be in the long haul, but I think if done right it could be very popular, and it could generate a completely new way to rank blogs.  Based not only by number of subscribers but the numbers of new readers, number of people who unsubscribe each week, and in general how much “interest” your blog has amongst your circle of friends.

And wouldn’t it be interesting to see a “tag cloud” of the relationship readers have with a variety of blogs – basically like Amazon’s “people who liked this also liked this” – but for blogs, not book?

Just a thought.