Filterblogs

By Deane Barker on January 7, 2006

I was browsing through Google Video last night (that’s where the Duron post came from), and I got to thinking that there’s so much good stuff in there, but there’s a bunch of crap too. And none of it is really organized beyond the general search that comes with it.

There are a lot of sites like this — sites that have so much content that you could never keep up with it all. Wikipedia, for instance. There are some real gems buried in there, but they can be tough to find unless you make a habit of browsing the site regularly (I always check the Brilliant Prose page).

This got me thinking about the concept of “filterblogs.” I just made that word up. (I’m sure it’s been used before, but I don’t want to rain on my own parade.) A filterblog is a blog devoted solely to filtering good stuff out of a single, large resource of content.

So a Google Video filterblog woud “review” videos and provide a blog of the good ones, as well as categorizing and keywording them. For instance, there seems to be a large amount of videos on the site of fast cars doing irresponsible stuff (this one, this one, and especially this one, etc.). If this is your thing, someone with an “Idiots Behind the Wheel” filterblog could comb Google Video everyday, pick out the good videos of this genre, and review them to provide more information about what’s in them, from an expert in the field.

Here’s an example of what I think is a filterblog right now: Google Sightseeing. This site picks out interesting things from Google Maps satellite pictures, and provides commentary and deeper information on them. It doesn’t post about anything beyond the content at Google Maps — that is its single body of content.

I talked about this very thing two years ago, it turns out:

I’m tempted to start a blog solely for linking to great Wikipedia entries. One of my morning rituals is to hit the random page link at Wikipedia and see where it takes me. I’ve found some fantastic articles that beat anything in a paid resource.

I could even provide a filterblog for Gadgetopia. There’s a top 1% or so of posts that are really good. A “meta blog” of this site could provide a running set of links to those ones that rise above the average.

How about a filterblog for book lovers that would do nothing but highlight new and interesting books at Amazon? Besides traffic to sell ad impressions, the affiliate links would be a no-brainer.

Taken to its most absurd conclusion, all blogs are filterblogs. I mean, we’re filtering the entire Internet, in a way — that is our single body of content. I suppose that’s where the name “MetaFilter” came from. For a long time, in fact, their actual tag line was “Filtering the Internet in real time,” or something. Filterblogs would just reduce this to a subset — a single corner of the Internet.

I’m sure this isn’t an original concept, but I’m suddenly smitten with the idea of a Gadgetopia Google Video Filterblog. That could be a winner, I think.

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