Always interesting to hear thoughts from jedberg (I've been reading/watching a lot of his talks/posts while planning hubski's technical future lately. If it were possible I'd beg/ask him to mentor me). Unfortunately I don't think we're at the point where we have a 'new link' problem but it's definitely a good think to look at; in all honesty if we did start to see a deluge of new links I'd probably implement rising/organic algos.
What caught my eye was this comment, in particular:
2) Give higher placement to submissions that come from someone whose previous submissions the user has upvoted.
3) Give higher placement to submissions that come from the same source as previous submissions the user has upvoted.
4) Give higher placement to submissions on which a person has commented whom the user has previously upvoted.
One way I think HN, Reddit, and other link-recommendation sites can put power into their users' hands is to allow each user to tweak the recommendations algorithm to suite their own preferences.
For instance, one user might want half their homepage to be filled with trending stories, rather than popular stories. Another user might find Technique 2 above to be useful but might not want to enable Technique 4.
Techniques 2-4 are things we have looked at recently, but the bolded part is what I think separates hubski from other 'link aggregation sites'. One of the things that anyone will tell you to do when you start heavily using a site like reddit or tumblr is to install a third-party service to give you features necessary to continue to enjoy your experience (i.e. RES, Tumblr Savior.) Some of the most commonly used features of these are ignore/filtering out posts based on some criteria (e.g. filtering out all apple posts, especially on product launch days). IMO, these things should have been implemented as first-party features.
I definitely see this as putting "power into their users' hands" and as a good thing. A lot of the friction/drama you see in communities lately is the tension between average users with limited power (e.g. you can sub/unsub from subreddits and that's about it) and those with, relatively speaking, all the power (e.g. moderators). A lot of people will say that if you give users too much power over their own feeds you'll just get an echo chamber, but I don't see it as so black and white. And besides, if someone really wants to they can use a third-party tool to give them the content they want. And the more you start to rely on third-party tools to use a service, the less useful that service probably is.