Technology Review writes:
San Franciscos Rojo is one of dozens of RSS aggregator companies. Like some of its competitors, Rojo has an RSS feed search function and gives readers the ability to flag stories they find important or interesting. But in enabling users to draw on the insights of friends, family, colleagues, and others in their social networks, Rojo departs from most of the competition. Rojo users can invite others to sign up for Rojo accounts; those accounts are linked, much like the accounts on the popular website Friendster. Rojo users can see what RSS feeds the members of their networks are reading and which stories they are flagging. Network popularity also affects the ranking of results when the user searches RSS feeds. We all depend on our community for content discovery, says Chris Alden, Rojos cofounder and CEO. Any successful media service has to tap into that.
Alden says Rojo is the first company to combine RSS aggregation with social networking, but it probably wont be the last. Rojo is one of a growing number of companies turning social networks into a tool for better managing and sharing online content. Of course, the makers of longer-standing RSS aggregators like Bloglines predictably point out that Rojo is missing a lot of features that their own services provide and charge that Rojos website isnt easy or intuitive to use.
Rojo, a San Francisco start-up in the blog aggregation business, “is wrapping a communications capability around content consumption,” said Andreessen, Web browser pioneer, Rojo investor and Opsware chairman. “And the killer app for the Internet is and always has been communication.”
Like Google’s PageRank algorithm and other search engine technologies, Rojo examines the link structure of the so-called blogosphere in order to call attention to blog items and feeds that have proved popular with other readers. Along the same lines, it follows e-commerce sites like Amazon.com in recommending related feeds.
And like social networking sites such as Friendster, Rojo narrows down the community of blog readers to those within a user-defined network of friends and associates.