Ok, bit of a brain dump. We talk of RSS newsreaders, but generally the user interface is text on screen. Right now it would be possible to show a picture of the author of the item along with the text, obtaining the URI of the picture from their FOAF profile. Take that a step further and it should be possible to have a synthetic rendition of that person (or their avatar) displaying on screen. Imagine a talking head on screen actually speaking the items found in an RSS/Atom feed. I've not kept up with VR stuff, but I'm sure the technology is already capable of doing this, assuming the necessary data was available.
Getting people to create encodings of their visible self might be a bit of a hard job, but something a bit more immediately achievable would be just to cover the voice. How does this sound - the RSS aggregator speaks new items as they appear, or alternately in a batch. I reckon audio blog posts are far too opaque and wasteful of resources for daily use, and I for one don't plan to start rambling into a mike everytime the dog does something peculiar. If you had information about the speech characteristic of the authors of the items, then they could be spoken in synthesized voices approximating them. It would be a bit like listening to telephone answering machine messages. So what a newsReader would do is take the item text, merge this with the speech profile parts of the author's FOAF to generate some Speech Synthesis Markup Language which would be passed to a synthesis subsystem. This would all need work in relation to i18n and so forth, but I'll pass on that this morning ;-)
It'll be easier to describe this in markup, so here's a strawman snippet:
<foaf:Person> <foaf:name>Danny Ayers</foaf:name> <spk:hasSpeechProfile> <spk:SpeechProfile> <spk:gender>male</spk:gender> <spk:pitch>medium</spk:pitch> <spk:pitchVariation>low</spk:pitchVariation> <spk:accent>Tideswell, UK</spk:accent> <spk:speed>low</spk:accent> <spk:hasSampleMap> <spk:Lexicon> <spk:hasSample> <spk:Sample rdf:about="http://dannyayers.com/cat.mp3> <spk:represents>cat</spk:represents> </spk:Sample> <spk:hasSample> <spk:hasSample> <spk:Sample rdf:about="http://dannyayers.com/dog.mp3> <spk:represents>dog</spk:represents> </spk:Sample> <spk:hasSample> </spk:Lexicon> </spk:hasSampleMap> <spk:hasSampleMap> <spk:Lexicon> <spk:hasSample> <spk:Sample rdf:resource="words.mp3"> <spk:represents>the quick brown fox</spk:represents> </spk:Sample> </spk:hasSample> </spk:Lexicon> </spk:hasSampleMap> </spk:SpeechProfile> </spk:hasSpeechProfile> </foaf:Person>