Google Reader, the next “Digg?”

Steve Rubel and a variety of others are opining that Google Reader could be turned into the next Digg. Oh, I so so so agree with that!

Imagine what’d happen if Google bought TechMeme, and used its algorithms on Google Reader feeds too. Hmmm.

I do know that I’m really seeing some great blogging come through Google Reader — the result set is more diverse than TechMeme (more Z listers, yeah!) and more focused than Digg (less noise, more tech).

A commenter over on Rubel’s blog is wondering how Google is going to dominate the news aggregator business to make this happen. I don’t think that Google needs more than a few thousand people. Based on the notes I’m getting from my readers a lot of people are converting to Google Reader.

If Google improves it a little bit more, I imagine that’ll turn to a flood of people. I sure would like to find other Google Reader users who share items similar to the ones I share with people. I’d love to combine those two feeds, then remove duplicates (dupes are a real problem once you start subscribing to other Google Reader feeds).

I also wish my readers could just download my OPML file without me sharing it somewhere. Speaking of which, gotta work on that, but after this weekend since I’ll be busy until then.

Comments

  1. I started using Google Reader as an experiment a month or so ago, switching from Newsgator – and despite loving NewsGator’s offline clients, I don’t think I’ll be going back. The interface is really nice, the starring and Sharing features are well thought-out, and it works with IE, Firefox AND Safari, which is a bonus.

    I agree that they could build some very interesting social software stuff around the Sharing idea, too. At the moment, its almost hidden in the background – but it could easily go some interesting places in the future.

  2. I started using Google Reader as an experiment a month or so ago, switching from Newsgator – and despite loving NewsGator’s offline clients, I don’t think I’ll be going back. The interface is really nice, the starring and Sharing features are well thought-out, and it works with IE, Firefox AND Safari, which is a bonus.

    I agree that they could build some very interesting social software stuff around the Sharing idea, too. At the moment, its almost hidden in the background – but it could easily go some interesting places in the future.

  3. I think Google Reader is great, except I would love to be able to comment directly on blogs from the Reader without having to open another screen and actually go to the blog. I would also like to have the shared items go directly to my own blog. Since you are in a dialogue with Google and I am a peon, why don’t you suggest this to someone?

  4. I think Google Reader is great, except I would love to be able to comment directly on blogs from the Reader without having to open another screen and actually go to the blog. I would also like to have the shared items go directly to my own blog. Since you are in a dialogue with Google and I am a peon, why don’t you suggest this to someone?

  5. I love Google Reader. It has nailed every aspect of feed reading that I need.

    Sharing has a ton of potential too. I know that by subscribing to Scoble’s sharing feed and a few others that I never miss anything of note.

  6. I love Google Reader. It has nailed every aspect of feed reading that I need.

    Sharing has a ton of potential too. I know that by subscribing to Scoble’s sharing feed and a few others that I never miss anything of note.

  7. I moved to Google reader a couple of weeks ago, and its been a great experience. One thing I miss, that I used to use quite a bit of, from the Opera browsers built in feed reader, was the ability to set up searches of the feeds. I used to have searches like symbian, india, e61, etc set up and all the new messages with any of these words in it would get tagged accordingly, so I could see them quicker and in a single folder. Actually the (nonexistent) search features pretty much suck in Google Reader.

    Thats pretty much the only thing Im missing.

  8. I moved to Google reader a couple of weeks ago, and its been a great experience. One thing I miss, that I used to use quite a bit of, from the Opera browsers built in feed reader, was the ability to set up searches of the feeds. I used to have searches like symbian, india, e61, etc set up and all the new messages with any of these words in it would get tagged accordingly, so I could see them quicker and in a single folder. Actually the (nonexistent) search features pretty much suck in Google Reader.

    Thats pretty much the only thing Im missing.

  9. I started using Google Reader when I got fed up with feed clients that I couldn’t figure out, or that had too many “features”. Google Reader was so easy to use, unencumbered by crap and just so intuitive: it fits my understanding of what RSS does. Plus, when I click on an RSS link, it does what I expect: it goes to my G.R. page. That little bit by itself was enough to sell me. And finally, it’s web based, so reading at work or reading at home doesn’t involve duplication of effort.

  10. I started using Google Reader when I got fed up with feed clients that I couldn’t figure out, or that had too many “features”. Google Reader was so easy to use, unencumbered by crap and just so intuitive: it fits my understanding of what RSS does. Plus, when I click on an RSS link, it does what I expect: it goes to my G.R. page. That little bit by itself was enough to sell me. And finally, it’s web based, so reading at work or reading at home doesn’t involve duplication of effort.

  11. I too switched to Google Reader a while back, the sharing aspect is a plus, but feels very under utilized, one has to wonder if they do have something like this in the works. It makes sense for them, they acquired Blogger, and made it easy to add AdSense to pages. And how many other blogs out there use AdSense? It’s in their best interest to drive as much traffic to as many blogs as possible, a front page link to an aggregation service of peoples shared and starred items would certainly do that. And there’s no overhead for them, people are responsible for maintaining their own blog sites. Win-Win for Google.

  12. I too switched to Google Reader a while back, the sharing aspect is a plus, but feels very under utilized, one has to wonder if they do have something like this in the works. It makes sense for them, they acquired Blogger, and made it easy to add AdSense to pages. And how many other blogs out there use AdSense? It’s in their best interest to drive as much traffic to as many blogs as possible, a front page link to an aggregation service of peoples shared and starred items would certainly do that. And there’s no overhead for them, people are responsible for maintaining their own blog sites. Win-Win for Google.

  13. Google reader is great. I just wish they’d fix the leaks. My preference is to just leave it open in a tab under IE7, in its own IE process. Doing that, it’s typically grown to about a half gig process size within a week, usually within 3-4 days. But then again, google talk leaks just about as badly so I shouldn’t be surprised.

  14. Google reader is great. I just wish they’d fix the leaks. My preference is to just leave it open in a tab under IE7, in its own IE process. Doing that, it’s typically grown to about a half gig process size within a week, usually within 3-4 days. But then again, google talk leaks just about as badly so I shouldn’t be surprised.

  15. Google Reader is sending us (GETV) a lot of traffic today for Irina’s ‘boobs in a box’ music video. I wonder if this is because people are sharing this link or if it’s just a lot of Scobleizer and BoingBoing readers who use Google Reader. Interesting to watch.

  16. Google Reader is sending us (GETV) a lot of traffic today for Irina’s ‘boobs in a box’ music video. I wonder if this is because people are sharing this link or if it’s just a lot of Scobleizer and BoingBoing readers who use Google Reader. Interesting to watch.

  17. I recently switched to Newsgator Online from JetBrains Omea Reader. This was because Omea Reader had way too much functionality that I didn’t need. If Google Reader were to compete against other products, it would be the likes of Newsgator Online and downloadable clients. Digg is a different sort of service, so they can’t really compete against each other.

  18. I recently switched to Newsgator Online from JetBrains Omea Reader. This was because Omea Reader had way too much functionality that I didn’t need. If Google Reader were to compete against other products, it would be the likes of Newsgator Online and downloadable clients. Digg is a different sort of service, so they can’t really compete against each other.

  19. [...] I’m going to post my official agreement with what Robert Scoble and others are saying about Google Reader becoming, with a little work, the next Digg. Only this time around, with a lot less noise and more news/tech content that’s truly worthy of sharing. I mean, that is Digg’s downfall, right? Iffy content and noisy comments really limit what Digg can be to serious information consumers. [...]

  20. It would be nice for Google Reader users to have a more unique URL rather than one with a random 15 digit number attached to it.

    I still haven’t converted to Google Reader yet. In due time…

  21. It would be nice for Google Reader users to have a more unique URL rather than one with a random 15 digit number attached to it.

    I still haven’t converted to Google Reader yet. In due time…

  22. I switched too (after one too many crashes with Intravnews and Outlook).

    But I agree with Skip — there definitely is an issue with growing browser memory size on IE7 anyway — I am not sure if it can be classed as a “leak” as closing the browser releases the memory and it is not clear if this is a reader issue or an IE7 issue but regardless it is a pain in the butt.

  23. I switched too (after one too many crashes with Intravnews and Outlook).

    But I agree with Skip — there definitely is an issue with growing browser memory size on IE7 anyway — I am not sure if it can be classed as a “leak” as closing the browser releases the memory and it is not clear if this is a reader issue or an IE7 issue but regardless it is a pain in the butt.

  24. Digg and reddit are far and away better than Google reader. Full stop. No competition. Google came into this market far too late.

  25. Digg and reddit are far and away better than Google reader. Full stop. No competition. Google came into this market far too late.

  26. I’ve grown so accustomed to using Google Reader to navigate feeds that I find myself trying to hit “J” to go to the next unread comment on blogs or the next article on news sites.

    I don’t know if it will replace Digg. The tools have different uses.

    Digg itself is morphing to the point it’s not very useful, and for me at least, I never relied on Google News’ front page for anything. Everyone has their own preference, and I just don’t expect those properties to run my viewing habits.

  27. I’ve grown so accustomed to using Google Reader to navigate feeds that I find myself trying to hit “J” to go to the next unread comment on blogs or the next article on news sites.

    I don’t know if it will replace Digg. The tools have different uses.

    Digg itself is morphing to the point it’s not very useful, and for me at least, I never relied on Google News’ front page for anything. Everyone has their own preference, and I just don’t expect those properties to run my viewing habits.

  28. You wore me down about seventeen plugs ago. Google reader is the shizzle. Flashback: early days of the Web… remember all the sites that were mainly lists of links to other sites? Google Reader is that again. “Here’s stuff I like.”

    But that’s not enough. When I tell people about it, they often throw up their hands and say, “enough internet already. I already have more ways to find stuff than I can deal with. I have no apetitite no cycles left to ride up another learning curve. Even a shallow one.”

    There are some meta-lessons here: Google Reader is an acquired taste. The sharing and community features are too well hidden for an explosive viral effect.

    Biggest obstacle to wide adoption of Google Reader: it solves a problem that either don’t have or already have a solution for.

    No worries. They’ll keep gaining. They have time. Cause, after all, it is the shizzle.

  29. You wore me down about seventeen plugs ago. Google reader is the shizzle. Flashback: early days of the Web… remember all the sites that were mainly lists of links to other sites? Google Reader is that again. “Here’s stuff I like.”

    But that’s not enough. When I tell people about it, they often throw up their hands and say, “enough internet already. I already have more ways to find stuff than I can deal with. I have no apetitite no cycles left to ride up another learning curve. Even a shallow one.”

    There are some meta-lessons here: Google Reader is an acquired taste. The sharing and community features are too well hidden for an explosive viral effect.

    Biggest obstacle to wide adoption of Google Reader: it solves a problem that either don’t have or already have a solution for.

    No worries. They’ll keep gaining. They have time. Cause, after all, it is the shizzle.

  30. Robert,

    I agree with you that it would be useful for readers to download an OPML file.

    However, in my opinion, a bigger drawback with many feedreaders is their inability to distinguish categories from feeds when importing data from an existing OPML file. Some assume the category is a feed, others simply ignore categories.

    I haven’t used Google Reader to date so I was wondering how good it is at separating categories from feeds when importing existing OPML. I’ll test it out and see. If it can’t do it, does any other feedreader get it right?

  31. Robert,

    I agree with you that it would be useful for readers to download an OPML file.

    However, in my opinion, a bigger drawback with many feedreaders is their inability to distinguish categories from feeds when importing data from an existing OPML file. Some assume the category is a feed, others simply ignore categories.

    I haven’t used Google Reader to date so I was wondering how good it is at separating categories from feeds when importing existing OPML. I’ll test it out and see. If it can’t do it, does any other feedreader get it right?

  32. I burned my shared items feed and then used the attached widget to display my six most recent shared headlines in the sidebar of my blog. I think the sharing angle is my favorite feature of Google reader.

  33. I burned my shared items feed and then used the attached widget to display my six most recent shared headlines in the sidebar of my blog. I think the sharing angle is my favorite feature of Google reader.

  34. Hi Robert. I’m sorry but I don’t Digg Google Reader.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t like it or any other web-based aggregator. It is way too slow for my liking (yes, I have broadband).

    Admittedly I subscribe to thousands of filtered feeds, but I don’t have the patience (or the time) to wait for it to load.

    I understand that someone like you who is on the road a lot has need for a web reader (have OPML will travel). But as for the rest of us I don’t see it as a viable option to replace desktop aggregators that can be much faster and more feature rich.

    The only real advantage that I can see web-based aggregators might have is the social aspect. The other advantage would also be for retaining a history of my feeds on Google’s servers instead eating up dwindling space on my hard drive.

    Nevertheless, until they can improve performance issues I will stick with my free copy of “GreatNews” which is super fast and has all of the important features that I need.

    I hope that you and your family had a terrific Christmas.

  35. Hi Robert. I’m sorry but I don’t Digg Google Reader.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t like it or any other web-based aggregator. It is way too slow for my liking (yes, I have broadband).

    Admittedly I subscribe to thousands of filtered feeds, but I don’t have the patience (or the time) to wait for it to load.

    I understand that someone like you who is on the road a lot has need for a web reader (have OPML will travel). But as for the rest of us I don’t see it as a viable option to replace desktop aggregators that can be much faster and more feature rich.

    The only real advantage that I can see web-based aggregators might have is the social aspect. The other advantage would also be for retaining a history of my feeds on Google’s servers instead eating up dwindling space on my hard drive.

    Nevertheless, until they can improve performance issues I will stick with my free copy of “GreatNews” which is super fast and has all of the important features that I need.

    I hope that you and your family had a terrific Christmas.

  36. If Google would really start to look at their reader stats they could use that to help search blogs/everything better. The the more people who subscribe to your blog and who actually click links on your blog, the more useful your posts are and links probably are. If Google started to give different weighting to these referring links based upon actual human click throughs they could tell what was a good link and what was a bad link ( Wizard of Oz flashback ) even more accurately. Its basically a way for Google to validate their index using real live humans.
    -d

  37. If Google would really start to look at their reader stats they could use that to help search blogs/everything better. The the more people who subscribe to your blog and who actually click links on your blog, the more useful your posts are and links probably are. If Google started to give different weighting to these referring links based upon actual human click throughs they could tell what was a good link and what was a bad link ( Wizard of Oz flashback ) even more accurately. Its basically a way for Google to validate their index using real live humans.
    -d

  38. Robert, that commenter in Steve’s blog would be me :-)

    I’m not wondering *how* Google is going to dominate the news aggregator business.

    I’m saying that for something like Google Reader to put down a site like Digg it would first have to dominate the news aggregator space, because as long as there are masses of people who don’t use that reader/service, they will resort to other services that give them what Digg dives them today, without giving up their own news reader. And it certainly doesn’t take just a few thousand people to take over that space.

    You only need a few thousand people to get a social thing going, but you certainly need a lot more to turn it into the “next Digg” or whatever IMHO.

  39. Robert, that commenter in Steve’s blog would be me :-)

    I’m not wondering *how* Google is going to dominate the news aggregator business.

    I’m saying that for something like Google Reader to put down a site like Digg it would first have to dominate the news aggregator space, because as long as there are masses of people who don’t use that reader/service, they will resort to other services that give them what Digg dives them today, without giving up their own news reader. And it certainly doesn’t take just a few thousand people to take over that space.

    You only need a few thousand people to get a social thing going, but you certainly need a lot more to turn it into the “next Digg” or whatever IMHO.

  40. I was already sold on Google Reader when I accessed it through my Blackberry. Then I was overwhelmed. Read in Blackberry and instantly updated on the web version. But the key is that the BB version is customised by Google with things like “keep unread”.
    Re the Digg thing … the “share this” function has exponential possibilities. You have to try it, live with it to see that.

  41. I was already sold on Google Reader when I accessed it through my Blackberry. Then I was overwhelmed. Read in Blackberry and instantly updated on the web version. But the key is that the BB version is customised by Google with things like “keep unread”.
    Re the Digg thing … the “share this” function has exponential possibilities. You have to try it, live with it to see that.

  42. Surely someone can write a script where we all can submit our Google shared feeds list/rss feed and then use that data to come up with a functional Digg/Reddit prototype?

    Until Google does the same of course…

  43. Surely someone can write a script where we all can submit our Google shared feeds list/rss feed and then use that data to come up with a functional Digg/Reddit prototype?

    Until Google does the same of course…

  44. “I sure would like to find other Google Reader users who share items similar to the ones I share with people. I’d love to combine those two feeds…”
    Robert, I switched to Google Reader after you raved about it during the blogger dinner in Chicago before the Ragan Conference.

    I’m also sharing my link blog at http://www.google.ca/reader/shared/05679297470062861004. Please feel free to take a look at it and use it, if it meets your purpose.

  45. “I sure would like to find other Google Reader users who share items similar to the ones I share with people. I’d love to combine those two feeds…”
    Robert, I switched to Google Reader after you raved about it during the blogger dinner in Chicago before the Ragan Conference.

    I’m also sharing my link blog at http://www.google.ca/reader/shared/05679297470062861004. Please feel free to take a look at it and use it, if it meets your purpose.

  46. Google Reader seems to be totally down, and in standard Google fashion we’re getting no response as to why.

  47. Google Reader seems to be totally down, and in standard Google fashion we’re getting no response as to why.

  48. Google Reader is the best web-based reader out there – no question. But I really wish the Reader guys would be snappier about fixing bugs. For instance, the “In expanded view, mark items as read when you scroll past them.” checkbox under “Scroll options” hasn’t worked for many months now and nobody seems to care. I un-check it and it still insists on marking posts as read on scrolling. Gngngngngn…

    I am not a “neat” reader and keep reading random posts in multiple iterations – pwease oh pwease make it work…

  49. Google Reader is the best web-based reader out there – no question. But I really wish the Reader guys would be snappier about fixing bugs. For instance, the “In expanded view, mark items as read when you scroll past them.” checkbox under “Scroll options” hasn’t worked for many months now and nobody seems to care. I un-check it and it still insists on marking posts as read on scrolling. Gngngngngn…

    I am not a “neat” reader and keep reading random posts in multiple iterations – pwease oh pwease make it work…

  50. Well, you were right! Google Reader is the new social bookmarking engine and it is Google Reader that is the gas.

    Google Reader adds a friends list, many social features like bookmarking, RSS feed item sharing, comments on blog posts and a blog recommendation engine based on your friends feeds and what you have in Google Reader

    http://www.keywebdata.com/?p=136

    This is the first time I have ever beat everybody to breaking news, even TechCrunch.

    My blog is banned by Digg, but if you write the article we will take it front page for you on Digg. Just email me so I can link to your article, you had the vision in 2006.

    Cheers = Chris Lang

  51. Well, you were right! Google Reader is the new social bookmarking engine and it is Google Reader that is the gas.

    Google Reader adds a friends list, many social features like bookmarking, RSS feed item sharing, comments on blog posts and a blog recommendation engine based on your friends feeds and what you have in Google Reader

    http://www.keywebdata.com/?p=136

    This is the first time I have ever beat everybody to breaking news, even TechCrunch.

    My blog is banned by Digg, but if you write the article we will take it front page for you on Digg. Just email me so I can link to your article, you had the vision in 2006.

    Cheers = Chris Lang