I’ve been looking for a Twitterfeed alternative, since the service has been a bit shaky lately, and I’ve been amazed at how many of the competitors to Twitterfeed have had to shut down due to being overrun by spammers. And of course Twitterfeed itself is struggling, as anyone that has waited five minutes for the dashboard to load can attest.

As I waited that five minutes for Twitterfeed to come online, I started thinking about all the five minutes everywhere dedicated to clearing out this junk from these people. And all the workarounds we have to develop. The $50 billion or so a year in lost productivity spam is supposed to cause. And most of all, the innovations, particularly around the use of RSS, that have been shelved or killed because of these lowlifes.

I know this has been said before — but what would happen if we took all that money being spent on persecuting music-sharers, and all that legal apparatus that streamlines crushing them with draconian fees, all those international treaties making sure that no one hears Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie” without paying for the pleasure — what if overnight we just took that legislation and redacted “file-sharers” (so to speak) and replaced it with “spammers”? Turned the death ray around? How much faster could all these projects get off the ground if the first question wasn’t always “How do we keep out spam?”

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