Full feeds of data are exciting, but sometimes you need a little something special.
Gnip, the Boulder, Colorado startup aiming to act as a clearinghouse for user activity updates from around the web, announced a partnership today with Canadian firm PostRank, to offer additional versions of Gnip-delivered data feeds, filtered by popularity. Gnip could already deliver anyone a big bucket of user data like photos from Flickr, submissions from Digg or slide shows from SlideShare - but now this partnership will allow customers the option of receiving only those items that were most commented on, linked-to, tweeted about, etc. It's wonky, but it's a whole lot of fun.
Popularity isn't a perfect substitute for quality, but it's not a bad place to start looking. Especially when inbound feeds are being displayed on a 3rd party's website automatically, the ability to crank up or down popularity criteria for inclusion in a feed can be really useful.
We use Postrank around the ReadWriteWeb team often: to make sure we don't miss big stories on niche blogs, to display the most recent break-out hits on other blogs we write about and to power the Community Management Aggregator that automatically delivers the hottest posts from community management experts to customers of our Guide to Online Community Management.