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Design challenge: River of News in HTML
By Dave Winer on Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 7:13 PM.

I'm a big believer in designers, programmers, writers, artists, news people all working together.  permalink

Some of the best work I've done was collaborating with Bryan Bell on themes for Manila and Radio, and icons for things like RSS and reading lists.  permalink

So it's in the spirit of a programmer looking for help from designers that I ask the following question. permalink

What's the best way to display a River of News in a browser? permalink

A river is a strict reverse-chronology of news items that conform more or less to the elements of a RSS 2.0 <item>. So you could have a title, link, description, publication date, link to comments, categories, or enclosures. There are a few other elements that can be in an item. For a full list, check out the RSS 2.0 spec. It's written so that a designer can make sense of it. permalink

Here are some examples of rivers: permalink

1. -- designed originally for Blackberries. permalink

2. Arc90's rendering of the 2006-era river thanks to permalink

3. A screen shot of the Radio 8.0 river, in early 2002. permalink

4., produced by River2. permalink

5. Twitter is a river. permalink

7. Les Orchard's news page (the descriptions would have to be initially expanded to make it fully a river). permalink

8. Glowdart is very interesting. I'd like to experiment with a UI like this, but one where the user could give it any number of feeds to follow. In other words it's a nice start for a generalized RoN aggregator. permalink

The design challenge is this. GIven the latest HTML techniques, do a mockup of a great River of News. If it's really something new, I'll put the software behind it and make it live.  permalink

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