What Google Reader is missing?16 Aug 2008
I must confess something. Google Reader really changed a part of my life. Before it, I used to spend - at least - 5 times the time I’m spending now to keep track of all those web sites and blogs (actually I’m spending the same time but I’m following up with 5 times the content). Even though I’m a great fan as it’s obvious. Lately, I think I’m having some problems with Reader. They’re not really problems but more like I’ve pushed the application to its limit that I need something more. Something like:
**"No, thanks" button in feed preview: **Whenever you’re reviewing a feed from the recommendations page and you realize that you don’t want this feed anymore, you have to go back to the recommendations page and click the "No, Thanks" button to make room for other feeds. Why can’t I get a button in the top banner while I’m reviewing the feed.
Keep the preview banner visible. The banner on the top while I’m reviewing the feed should be kept visible so that I can decide on the feed quickly and don’t have to scroll back up and click "Subscribe" or "No, Thanks" (which is not really there as I described earlier).
"Show me More" button in the Top Recommendation section to show three more suggestions. I really like the small badge on the top right of the home page that shows the top recommendations. If only I can quickly display 3 more feeds without having to view the recommendations page.
Control the keywords of recommendations. I’ve subscribed to tens of feeds through the recommendations page that is reading my subscriptions and bringing me more feeds that are like my subscriptions (totally violating my privacy without even asking if I like to do this or not or even giving me a chance to turn it off but whatever). But sometimes I want to add more topics without subscribing to feeds of that topic and without searching for a feed. This way I can include this topic in my daily 5 minutes preview of recommended feeds. ** Sort unread items from old to new while keeping the read items visible.** Whenever I travel or away from any PC for couple of days, I get back and I find 1000+ posts (which takes me either 5 hours or 1 second to read). Reading the news section of my feeds is the most troubling one in this situation because I get the latest updates on sports (for example) before the pre-match analysis (which I love especially when I can find out the results 2 seconds after I read them to find out how ridiculous those sports analysts are. They’re starting to be more like political analysts and we’re way off topic now). Of course I can sort the posts by oldest which will show me the older posts first but will also give me the already read posts. And I can also only show the unread posts which will solve this problem but will prevent me from reading the already read posts (which I like to do every once in a while just for fun). What I want is to be able to display all posts (not just the unread ones) and while they’re sorted by oldest. Something like scrolling down to the first unread post and then go through them to the newer ones. I don’t travel that much but maybe I will if I have this feature.
More clever use of the Home page. Most of the time I finish reading all the posts. So I go back to the Home page which is empty now because I finished reading all the posts. The message tells me that I can browse the recommendations or go to Google news. But I don’t want to do this, I just want something to fill this area. Something like bigger recommendations badge, clip of Google news that displays the kind of news that I would be interested in (like news from my hometown or ones that match my subscriptions keywords, you know more violation of my privacy type of thing).
Read later folder/section. I don’t know what the Starred folder is for, I just used it to mark stuff to be read later. But that not the way I wanted to always be. I wanna be able to see how many items I have marked to be read later.
That’s it for now, maybe I have more demands later. If I’m sending this as a letter to Google, I would probably sign it as "yours truely, lazy reader lover" :).