Training logic



I totally love the training based on tags/authors/etc. as it reminds me of the old sort by magic feature on Reader but on steroids.

I was going to post this in a new thread but saw this here, so would just like to say I would love a bit more information on how many tags had been hit by a story, possibly using colours to indicate as suggested above.

Not sure how you would display this, but just an idea.

As an aside, how about being able to sort based on how many shares etc on newsblur/facebook/twitter an article has had so you can see what stories are really hot?

Thanks for all your work,



Ooh, I just saw on the dev version, when you go to the statistics per blog, you can see the number of people who have liked or disliked specific tags. If you were to use this to count the total number of tags hit by each article you could use that to try and recreate the old sort by magic feature.

Say a blog has the following tag-like profile

cats: 10 likes
dogs: 8 likes
trees: 5 likes
rocks: 1 like

Then an article tagged dogs, trees, rocks would get a score of 14, one about cats and dogs would get 18, etc.

You could then use this to do a sort by score…? Maybe?


The trainer can definitely use more intelligence. Im not entirely sure how and what but the current impletation does not serve a selling point of the service.


Is there any hope for movement on this suggestion? I get hit all the time with something in green when it really should be red or yellow. Red + Green should equal yellow, ideally…


I made that green rules decision a long time ago and I’m still quite pleased with it. Remember, by subscribing to a feed you are implicitly saying you want to read it. So a green wins out every time.


But if there’s a post in that feed with 3 reds and one green, it shouldn’t show up in green. For instance, if I like a particular author but hate 3 topics that she occasionally writes about, I don’t want to see her posts on that, even if I have given her as writer the thumbs up.


For what it’s worth, I still totally agree with Karen. I subscribe to Kotaku because I “want to read it”, but I routinely see posts in the green category that have (I kid you not) 13 red tags and 1 green (I am not a fan of sports games, it turns out).

I think the problem is that the yellow category (or… gray now I guess?) as it is now just means “You haven’t trained this”, and red means next to nothing (on any feed I actively red/green tag, the odds of a pure red are incredibly small).

Of course, if I had know all this beforehand I would have done the thing that actually works pretty well: never green tag and only red tag. Using negative filters exclusively allows you to actually use negative filters, whereas trying to use both results in only being able to use positive filters. The More You Knooooow.

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The real problem is that this it too late to change. A bunch of apps have this logic built in. And unread counts are computed server-side, so I’d have to recompute site-wide unread counts, which would mess up everybody’s counts for a day. It would be madness, and then I’d have to figure out how to get that logic on ios and android (and the third-party clients).


This is a pretty disappointing response, especially given it seemed like such a future-near change 9 months ago (…). Also, didn’t you just recompute unread counts for the 30-days-unread change? As we found out several months back, with proper notice, people are willing to undergo a day or two of slight madness in exchange for a massive improvement in app quality. I care much more about this feature on the web than I do on mobile since the majority of my use is on the Web and it is clearly the flagship Newsblur product. Without out this tweak, the intelligence filter is basically useless for me.

Here’s a metaphor: I love my friends, but I don’t love everything they talk about, nor should I. You’re saying that, because I love my friends, I *HAVE* to listen to them talk about babies (a thing I don’t care about) and also cocktails (a thing I do care about), even though I’ve made it clear that I don’t want to hear about babies. But because I love my friends, it is all or nothing.

Similarly, if I have given a particular author the thumbs-up, I must wade through their posts on topics I absolutely do not care about (because I’ve told NB so) to find the ones that I do care about.


straying a bit from this subtopic, one question about “training logic” that I don’t understand: does “red” and “greening” of tags in a feed only effect how that feed is displayed, or is it a global function across all feeds one’s subscribed to? If I don’t care for blog x’s “cats” posts but know that if blog y posts about “cats” then it must be important, can I red blog x’s tag but green blog y? or is it all just one big “cats” tag?


It’s just for that feed. :slight_smile:

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If you specified that you like cocktails and now you’re friends are talking about cocktails and babies, then you definitely want to see that story.


It’s entirely naive and doesn’t apply to other feeds. It’s a pretty simple pattern match on tags, authors, titles, and the publisher itself.

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They’re not talking about them in the same conversation (post), though. It’s cocktails THEN babies, not cocktails AND babies. The current intelligence trainer is effectively forcing me to stay in the room when they start to talk about babies, even though I’d rather go and get another drink.


Cool, just wasn’t sure. thanks!


In that case, you’d have a +1 and a -1, which you’d want to show up as neutral? I can understand a few -1’s and only a single +1, but even then I felt that the +1 was enough to highlight the story.


Yes, I would want it neutral in that instance. But I *definitely* wouldn’t want it green because I specifically said I don’t want to hear about babies! Even if it’s my friends who I love that are talking, I still don’t want to listen to topics that I have specifically said I don’t want to hear about.

For a real blog example, I read Jezebel and generally like Lindy West’s writing, so I have given her the +. However, she tends to also post their daily celebrity gossip roudup feature which I do not care to see. I have the gossip tag as a -, as well as “celebrity”, “kim kardashian”, “taylor swift”, “us weekly”, etc. The problem is that I can have a post with so many red tags that I am *clearly* not interested in the topics contained therein, despite it being posted by a writer I like, and it still shows up in the green. So I still have to filter it with my own brain, instead of using Newsblur’s magic extra brain (which is the main reason I stuck with NB in the first place!).


Just to present the other side of this, I like the way the training works now. A few of my feeds do ‘roundup’ posts, and if one of those posts touches on a topic I flagged as a +1 as well as a few topics I flagged as -1s, I would still want to read that post. Or, part of the post. So what karen describes wouldn’t work for me at all.


So is this going to be introduced or not? I think @ridingsloth made a perfect point on how the red tag is just pointless in the whole logic.


The real question is about how many users are really annoyed vs how many don’t realize or simply don’t care about the uselessness (sorry for being blunt) of the trainer. The assumption you so often made here on the forum about a user “implicitly saying he/she wants to read a feed once subscribed” simply disqualifies the value-add the training is supposed to bring. What’s the point of the trainer if I want to read everything from a feed?

The “FAQ” definition ( is also somewhat misleading and should then be changed from
“Stories marked with red as hidden and are only shown when you hit the “Show Hidden Stories” button.”
“Stories marked with red are hidden, unless they have been marked as green, and are only shown when you hit the “Show Hidden Stories” button” or have marked them green."