The RSS Reader Wars are Back
At least for a second… Google launched a new version of Reader today, fueling speculation that it can’t be long before they integrate RSS into Gmail. In the post about the update, you’ll find a video by one of the Google Reader engineers. The best part of the video is not that Google Reader is an inbox for the web, but rather the UPS guy who leaves the building in back of Chris Wetherell. Can’t you see him going “Dammit! The one take we finally get and there’s a UPS guy back there.” Maybe other people aren’t as easily distracted as I am.
Just to play around a little, I did some tests on Google’s feed discovery service (I’ve done similar searches with Yahoo’s RSS feed search). I choose to be amused rather than disheartened by the results. A search for Fantasy Basketball turns up none of the fantasy basketball blogs I read (nor write). Just stuff from the “major” news sources and media. A search for Give Me The Rock (no quotes) comes up with the BlogShares feed for GMTR and a posting on the KFBA message board with a link to the site. A search for “Give Me The Rock” (with quotes this time) actually manages to grab a bunch of sites that link to GMTR, but not GMTR itself. Finally, a search for Nels Wadycki comes up with the Give Me The Rock feed as the 6th hit. At least this blog was the first result for Nels Wadycki. I would have been a little worried if that wasn’t the case.
I added GMTR, this blog, and another fantasy basketblog that I read to test things out…
And the verdict is, it’s pretty nice. If you go through thing in the expanded view, it will automatically mark them as read, which is something that I’m a big fan of. The keyboard shortcuts make that pretty easy, too. I will say that the shortcuts took me a little while to figure out, but I think if I were to use Reader consistenly, I’d get used to them pretty quick. Hard to say if it works well for a power reader like myself with only 3 feeds in there, but it is an obvious improvement over the previous version.
As for the integration into Gmail. I’m not keen on that as yet. It would probably require some reworking of the keyboard shortcuts, and it seems like there would have to some sort of separation between the two since they are actually more disparate applications than Gmail and Gtalk were/are. I would like to see them do it if for no other reason than to expand the side bar a little. I’ve always thought it was too narrow to accomodate longer, more wordy labels, and it would help a little with people’s personalized statuses in the Gtalk box.
Here’s the only picture I’m going to post… because if you really want to see what it looks like, you can just go over and check it out.