Google Reader Review

I have spent much of the last 5 years designing news reading and data mining applications. I haven’t really mentioned work in this blog before but our NewsRaider application is a really smart bit of kit. But… its an installed application and so its days are really numbered. Its all going web.

What’s making its days even more numbered in my eyes is a newish service from Google. It isn’t google news – even though that would be the obvious choice. Google news is The Google's attempt to provide news that interests you. Its OK. Its not great. It searches over a trillion news sources (NewsRaider does about fifty) and doesn’t really come up with anything that particular to you.

The real innovation is Google Reader. Perhaps the most underrated of Googles stock. There are just about half as many RSS readers and websites as there are new feeds in google reader. So why anyone would bring out another is anyone’s google.

But google did, and its so much more.You access it from your normal gmail or google account page. And you fiddle with it… explore a bit over a few days. I started adding my fave sites. News. Podcasts. Mags etc. And they are all just there, in this one page, in this really well designed way. Its so easy to add new feeds and change stuff.

You can get feed pages and super-feed pages like netvibes, but if you like that interface purity and simplicity that gmail has or amazon shopping and you like news and info sites, google reader is groundbreaking

You know, it might be thought that I am a bit of a googlephile. I’m not in any significant sense - I’d like another company to come and really challenge google. But the extent to which google will effect online life really is astounding. Its getting like they own the roads and the power and the media…. And the literature of the online world. Right or wrong, I think it’s a fascinating topic.

With Google, we don’t know if we are in Germany in 1933 or Italy in 1500, in a tech sense.