will be retired
on July 1st. This makes me very
Google products I use as a consumer, sorted by how much my life would suck without them:
- GMail (I host my primary email address and forward to gmail)
- Blogger (other people's blogs)
I used Reader to find the current and previous places I lived. If I didn't get hired, there was a good chance I'd have found my eventual employer via Reader. I learned about Wave via Reader while traveling in Guatemala. Reader is my main source of insight into technology, linguistics, and astronomy. Reader provides the material for around 25% of my Google+ posts. I joined Twitter only after following all the Twits I cared about got too unwieldy in Reader. If I'd been hired in Mountain View, Reader would've been on the top 5 projects I wanted to work on.
Reader is a product that respects my attention. Unlike seemingly every other social product, it keeps track of the content I've seen and doesn't show it to me again. It tells me how much is new in each source so I don't get pulled into a casino random reward trap. I can read several related posts in sequence so that I'm not suddenly context switching between programming, politics, and pictures of cats. If I'm away from the Internet for a week, I can find and read the important/really interesting stuff to catch up. I can start reading something interesting, realize I don't have time to digest it fully, and know that I can come back to it later. I can read posts with (most of) the original formatting; with images in context; with text hyperlinked.
So... anyone got suggestions for a Reader replacement? I've got several RSS feeds on my LiveJournal friends page, which is great for comics but lousy for noisy feeds like Slashdot and BoingBoing.
Minimum viable feature set:
- Add feed by URL
- Keep track of read items, unread count on each feed
- Ability to read each feed independently
- Android app, read items kept in sync with web
- Mark as unread/read later/star
- Show all items (vs. only unread)
- Read several feeds together
- Social sharing buttons
- Add feed bookmarklet
Google Reader's usage is small compared to services like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and probably even LiveJournal. But its many of its users are very devoted and tech savvy. I'd be willing to pay several bucks a month for a service like Reader. I think someone could make a viable business out of it.