While this might be a pretty obvious idea, it has yet to really become a mainstream feature of most major information-consumption tools:
- Google Reader will either show me every new item, or only those from an individual feed or feeds, but it won't actively filter anything out (or add to my feeds). The result is thousands of feeds of seemingly equal importance, when in reality I only want to read a small number of them.
- Facebook shows me every update from every one of my friends, but unless I want to spend forever sorting all my friends into groups and explicitly telling it who I want to see updates from, I'll see everything from everyone. My best friend's pictures of his new apartment are, to Facebook, just as worthy of presentation as an inane application invite from someone I barely know. Since Facebook is, to me, primarily useful as a way of finding out what's going on in my friend's lives, this lack of a filter has rendered the site entirely useless for me, and as a result I never use it.
- Twitter just shows me every tweet from everyone I follow, ordered chronologically. If one tweet has been retweeted a million times, and another one has never been retweeted, Twitter won't make the distinction. The result is that Twitter seems to be tough to scale beyond a few dozen follows at once; I don't know how people who follow hundreds or thousands of others manage to keep up.
- Gmail, and every other email client, only understands how to order my inbox by recency. Thank god for the personal-level indicators (two arrows for emails sent only to me, one for emails cc'ed to me), but there's got to be more that could be done here.