Newsgator Online, the company's web-based feed reader and until now a relatively weak product, rolled out a feature today that makes the service worth another look.
One of our favorite filtering services, AideRSS, is now ranking by popularity the individual items in feeds you subscribe to. Newsgator users can now read the most commented on, linked-to, Dugg and saved in del.icio.us posts in either a single feed or across the bulk of their subscriptions.
This is something that AideRSS began offering Google Reader users earlier this month, but that implementation wasn't as simple or elegant. It may be more powerful, though. AideRSS is a simple but powerful service that filters out just the most popular items in any feed. We use it frequently here, we used it to highlight the "greatest hits" of ten selected blogs about wonderful things for example.
Newsgator Online has long been slower, uglier and more awkward to use than the company's other consumer products like NetNewsWire and FeedDemon. It's been much improved lately in all those matters and now offers personalized feed recommendations. Newsgator also publishes an APML file for each user's activity, though it's export only so far.
The AideRSS processing is limited at launch to the 1000 most subscribed-to blogs in Newsgator. That means this is good for casual use, but one of the biggest benefits of AideRSS is its ability to process any RSS feed. I regularly use it to filter obscure blogs or blogsearch feeds, for example. You can imagine the processing power that would require though. Starting with the 1000 most popular feeds sounds like a great solution to me.
Right now it's only Newsgator Online where this integration is available - not, for example in NetNewsWire. Since the company's desktop products sync with its online and mobile readers - it would be great if users could read at home on the desktop readers (which are some of the best products on the market) and then read just AideRSS filtered highlights on the road by mobile.
We'll see where this goes, but for now I would recommend exporting your feeds out of whatever reader you currently use, importing them into a Newsgator Online account and giving the AideRSS view a try. It's pretty handy and OPML makes it very easy to try out.
If you're interested in RSS filtering for popularity, check out RSSMeme's new FriendFeed filter, too. It looks pretty hot.
See the screenshot below, articles truncated here but full feed display is also available. AideRSS ranking is displayed in the bottom right of each item.