AideRSS produces one of my favorite tools on the market right now. Their RSS feed filtering service is very useful in all kinds of circumstances. You can enter any RSS feed and it will score each item in the feed by number of comments it received, number of times it's been tagged in Del.icio.us, Diggs and inbound links it's received. You can then get a new feed of just the most popular items from your original feed.The Canadian company
The basic functionality of AideRSS is remarkably simple but powerfully useful. It's the kind of thing everyone I talk to about it says "wow, that's cool and useful looking." Getting a little money in the bank should help AideRSS make its product more robust as well. To be honest, I have experienced frustrating performance issues since I discovered this service - but its functionality has been so compelling and unique that I find myself coming back to it regularly anyway.
ReadWriteWeb first covered AideRSS prelaunch in July, when Josh Catone gave it an in-depth review.
The company is positioning themselves as a solution to the growing problem of information overload. That's a big statement and implementation of that idea can take many forms.
I used AideRSS, for example, in building the ReadWriteWeb Toolkit for 2008. In that post I made available a collection of the top RSS feeds in each of five fields I believe are going to be hot in 2008 (Data Portability, Semantic Web, Mobile, etc). Each of those topics ended up having quite a lot of feeds in them and for the sake of efficiency there was no better way to offer our readers a feed of just the most popular items in these top feeds than to use AideRSS. I spliced each topic's feeds into one feed, ran than feed through AideRSS and then ran the AideRSS feed through FeedBurner - but you don't have to do anything nearly so complicated to use this very useful service. You can do a lot of very cool things with AideRSS, though. Try putting in del.icio.us feeds and search feeds, for example.
A simpler example is this. You might feel overwhelmed with the number of posts that ReadWriteWeb makes each day and want a feed of just the most popular items. You can visit or subscribe to this URL to do that: http://www.aiderss.com/best/readwriteweb.com
Limitations of AideRSS
There's lots of different ways to try and determine what the best items in feed are. AideRSS uses explicit Attention Gestures on 3rd party networks to track global popularity. Just because things are popular doesn't mean they are good, though, nor does it guarantee that they are the right items for you to read.
AideRSS is clearly taking a different approach than other systems based on your personal Attention Data, like FeedHub (our coverage) and some of the Newsgator products that rank news according to your reading habits. Other apps can filter news according to what's hot among a particular group of users you belong to (Attensa in the enterprise and to some degree Google Reader).
Everyone wants to tackle these issues and AideRSS has a particular approach to doing so.
AideRSS has a freely available, public API that other apps can leverage internally as well. The showcase example so far is the super-search tool Lijit, which uses the AideRSS API in addition to various other cool tricks it can do.
This little Canadian company could have a bright future ahead of it. It does a great job of serving both a core need for all users and satisfying the need for magic that RSS power users have. Check it out, it's worth at the very least a few minutes of your time. You might find yourself coming back to it regularly like I have.