Interesting notion of “feed grazing” from James Corbett and Danny Ayers. James actually came up with the concept – this explanation is from a comment he left on Danny’s blog:

“I‚Äôm actually coming to the conclusion that the whole subscriptions mindset is a problem and that in future we‚Äôll ‚Äògraze‚Äô for the most part instead of subscribing. As Zigbee sensors, RFID chips and GPS trackers proliferate we‚Äôll be drowing in an RSS-everywhere world if we don‚Äôt change our approach.

We don‚Äôt subscribe to all the sensory feed in physical world, we sample, nibble, taste, glance. Taskable and OPod (and whatever Kosso‚Äôs working on) are first generation ‚ÄúFeed Grazers‚Ä? IMHO. They allow you to graze feeds without ever subscribing. All we need is for static OPML directories to proliferate and for OPML search engines (like to improve at building multi-level hierarchies on the fly.”

Intrigued, I checked out the apps that James referenced. Taskable is described as “a new kind of RSS and OPML browser built into the Windows taskbar notification area.” OPod is “an AJAX OPML and RSS viewer widget that you can embed in any web page you like.” Uh, right. I’m none the wiser.

In another post, James calls them “on-demand feeds” – which is more grokable. So you only need these feeds for a short time, then you dispose of them… My Auckland friend Charles Coxhead has been exploring the notion of disposable feeds too.

It’s an interesting concept and one which I obviously need to think more on – and read more of James’ posts (and Charles too, when he gets around to posting about his experiments). 2006 seems to have become the year when we’ve realised that RSS, for all the benefits it brings of being able to subscribe to information, doesn’t actually solve the core problem of information overload. Perhaps feed grazing, or on-demand feeds, is a step closer to solving the overload problem…