Developer Challenge: Create A Crowd Managed Feed Reader

There’s a business opportunity for whoever wants to innovate. Since I don’t build products myself, I’ll just tell you what I’m looking for as I see a market need. If you build it, kindly leave a comment below, and I’ll amend the post. I have a feeling that it will emerge in a few days, or an existing company will add these features.

Pain point
Finding people on Twitter, then following them is already a challenge. Sharing your hard earned list takes time. I deal with a lot of executives at companies, that want to quickly scan the topics in their industry, or see what their employees, customers, and competitors are doing. Searching by keyword isn’t sufficient. Carter Lusher has this large Twitter list of analysts, but in order to see their streams, adding each one is a manual process.

Who’s it for?
People that don’t have time to fiddle with finding people on twitter, then sharing with others. It’s quite possible this could be for people who want to spectate Twitter, but may not want to participate. This could end up being a tickertape in some executives office. (Update: Best Buy has done something similar)

Potential Use Case
Here’s some potential uses: I want to track all analysts in my industry, then I could my executives a single URL so they can observe. Or, give a sales rep a single webpage to see all the tweets coming out of their client. Or allow a professional to quickly track all their industry counterparts tweets. I don’t want to have to manually manage the list (adding and removing members myself) so the crowd should be able to submit, but a smaller group of admins could verify and allow it to happen.

What it should do:

Allow anyone to create a public stream of Twitter users, later it could evolve to include blogs and articles. For example, if I wanted to create a feed of just Web Designers, or VCs, or my colleagues. Recently, Alltop created the ability to create a customized lens, that’s the right direction, but just do this for tweets. It should all be in a single stream, so it’s easier to track the zeitgeist.

It should allow members to submit themselves to these lists, or allow anyone to volunteer others. Although I’m familiar with Kevin Rose’s WeFollow, it requires users to self-submit, bloglines requires a single individual to manage the list –that’s not scalable.. Tweetburn is the Twitter version of Alltop, but doesn’t have customized list ability (they say it’s coming) I’d rather make it social so the community (or admins) can manage. Fernando just created this public friendfeed example, but it doesn’t allow these features.

Have administrative controls. In order to keep the lists free of spammers or wannabees in categories, there should be permissions that still allow for the crowd to submit names, but a moderator(s) to manage.

It should be public. I’m well versed with Friendfeed, but I don’t see any features that allow me to share my “colleague” feed with the world.

Be easy to use. Especially for busy professionals who just want to monitor. Yahoo pipes is too geeky, Friendfeed is for edgelings, and Twitter search doesn’t have the above features.

Have further features that allow very large feeds to segment by a variety of filters perhaps by location, popularity, and other metadata. This is a nice to have.

Aggregate then prioritize. Feeds on their own are a bit messy, if you’re not in front of in real-time you may miss something. This feature should bubble up the most important tweets based on popularity or weight. Techmeme, Tagclouds, Friendfeed’s ‘best of day’ all have some of these features. This is a nice to have, but should be on the roadmap.

Thanks for this, I see a business need for this (btw, go read my posts on social crm, or think about the data analysis, or fall back on advertising), as I speak to many companies and executives that are trying to get a sense of what’s happening in Twitter, but don’t have time to jump in. Help them to survey the seascape and you could create a business out of this.

Also, take a step back. This is interesting, I started this call for product request on Twitter, didn’t see it, then am blogging it. It’s an example of how products in the future could be built, now imagine if there was a formal system.

Leave a comment if you’ve feature ideas for this, or you’ve seen something that does it.