Reading Scoble talking about Google Reader made me want to check it out. I’ve been through a number of differernt RSS readers, online and off, over the years. I had a FeedOnFeeds set up on my hosted box for a while, I used Shrook with the webpage synchronization and I currently use NetNewsWire (without any Newsgator integration because it poops out when I try it and I don’t care enough to pursue it.) I like it well enough at this stage of the game. It seems to get out of sync fairly regularly, requiring me to hit the refresh in either the list pane or the item pane reasonably often. I do like the automarking of items as read as you scroll down. I don’t like how it does the dates, apparently marking it as to when Google found the item and not respecting the post time from the RSS or Atom. I really don’t like that and am assuming that it will get straightened out at some point. I’m playing around with the sharing and starring. If you want to see my shared items the web page is here and the feed is here. Check them out or even subscribe. If I continue forward wtih this tool I might get serious about using that as a link blog. I’m wondering what happens when you use Google Reader to subscribe to other people’s shared Google Reader feeds.
I’m watching Scoble interview the Google Reader guys right now. They just mentioned the possibility of a Google Reader API where you could use your desktop aggregator to interact with your online feed store. They used the example of NetNewsWire reading via the API but isn’t that what it already does with NewsGator? I wonder if they’d do this integration. If the API exists, doesn’t that mean that every single offline reader could then be a combination online/offline/network synchronized reader for nearly free? They also mentioned the blog for the project just now, which you can’t avoid if you go to the “home” view of your reader account.
I have to say that I’m not quite sure what the whole “river of news” business is about. Scoble uses that as his topic sentence in the post, but I’m not sure if this really is a distinct thing. Isn’t that what we all do anyway when you do the “show me all unread items” in any newsreader that shuffles together irrespective of what feed is the source of it. Is there some philosophical thing about it that I’m missing? Here’s what Dave Winer says to describe it, but every single aggregator I’ve ever used worked like that when you view unread.
Update: I don’t know if it was a luck of timing, but this post showed up in my Reader account in like 10 seconds. I’m wondering if Google monitors weblogs.com and other ping recipients.