I’ve been asked a few times about using algorithms in NetNewsWire to bring articles you wouldn’t otherwise have seen — from outside your feeds list — to your attention.
I’ve also been asked a similar question about using algorithms to bring articles — from inside your feeds list — to the top based on the likelihood that they’ll interest you.
I’m not going to do either.
These kinds of algorithms optimize for engagement, and the quickest path to engagement is via the drugs outrage and anger — which require, and generate, bigger and bigger hits.
This is what Twitter and Facebook are about — but it’s not right for NetNewsWire. The app puts you in control. You choose the sites and blogs you want to read, and the app reliably shows you their articles sorted by time. That’s it.
My hypothesis: these algorithms — driven by the all-consuming need for engagement in order to sell ads — are part of what’s destroying western liberal democracy, and my app will not contribute to that.