We’ve written about AideRss before. They’re the service that applies a sort of social analysis to RSS feeds, designed to highlight the most popular items. From your AideRSS account, you can create a filtered feed that shows only the popular items from any RSS feed, so that you can cut down on your reading a bit by skipping chaff in feeds you’re only somewhat interested in.
A barrier to adoption, though, has been the necessity to visit the AideRSS site to do the initial setup, as well as being stuck with one level of filtering. What if you want to see the whole feed, but have an easy way to highlight individual items by their PostRank? That’s where their new Firefox extension for Google Reader (now in private beta) comes in.
After installing the extension and restarting Firefox, visit your Google Reader account. You’ll be shunted (one time only) to the AideRSS site to confirm the integration. After that, all of your feeds will have a new column, right next to the star for remembering items, showing the item’s PostRank. There’s also a new dropdown to let you select a filtering level, which highlights the best items and still leaves the others visible and accessible, though dimmed.
In my testing with Firefox 3, the extension worked perfectly, and didn’t add any noticeable delay to Google Reader: it takes a minute to load up the PostRanks, but the rest of the Reader user interface remains active while this is going on. PostRanks only show when you’re visiting individual feeds, not aggregates like “All items” or “Starred items”.
If you’d like to try it yourself, we have fifty invitations to the closed beta to give away: just follow this link.