Jigar Mehta’s WebBlog

June 7, 2008

How would it be if, "Google Reader gets Rules support!"

Filed under: How would it be.. — jigarme @ 2:11 pm

I was a hardcore FeedDemon fan! Especially after it taken over by NewsGator, it became better than ever! But then I tried Google Reader in parallel (version 2).. and I was forced to retire FeedDemon (though it became free!)

Google Reader is one of the site that is opened by me at least 5 times in any working day! (all days are working days for me right now.. at least when I am in the city!) Over the time, I have got a huge collection of RSS subscribed!


Its good, that Google Reader supports Labeling the feeds (so I can categorize them and focus on what I want at a particular time!)

But now, while dealing with so many feeds and traffic, I think its necessary to have Outlook-like (or EMail like) rules support in Google Reader!

Following are the Use-Case I can think of!!

  • One can create a rule to Mark items with specific word or entire feed As Read (without reading it)..
    • One would say what’s the point in having such a feed in Google Reader! Well, The day Google Reader released its Search Feature, I was the happiest user! I had thought of many things about this feature.. Now, I have my own customized Search Engine (My own Google, that Serves me for what I am interested in!!!)
    • So, there are few feeds in my Google Reader which were added just so that they get added to my ‘Personal Search Engine’.. I never wanted to read those few feeds on regular basis.. But What I want is, when I look for those Items, I should be able to search them quickly in my Personal Search Engine! (using the search feature of Google Reader..) One example of such item is, Feed from Books website where newly published/added book in specific category is syndicated over RSS.. I have all those new books (information about them) feed in my Google Reader which I dont want to read everyday (who has time!) but when I search for an ISBN in Google Reader, it should show me that Feed..
  • One can create a rule for an important feed such that any new post in that feed will send you an IM on GTalk/Jabber.
    • This will be really cool, Taking RSS to next level! (Instant Notification!)
    • Though, there are many sites out there who allows you to get RSS notifications over IM (like, try adding imfeeds@gmail.com to your google talk!), but having it integrated within Google Reader will be Awesome!
  • Marking items with specific items as starred items!
  • Automatically share the items from specific source or one having specific words.
  • I would love to have an ability to automatically post an item (or link to it!) to my blog if it contains specific words!
    • Just imagine, you publish set of photos on Flickr, which FriendFeed aggregates, which comes to Google reader (if you have subscribed to friendfeed RSS), and you already have a rule in place that posts Flickr related photo upload again on Blog! All your blog readers will automatically be able to see Flickr Photo uploads!! (this can cause recursive effect as well, but I am sure we can find some solution to get rid of it!)
  • EMail item to somebody with specific words or from specific source!

If you think there can be some more interesting use-cases for Rules feature in Google Reader, feel free to leave a comment..

Going forward, I would love to have GMail and Google Reader Integrated! Designing UI for this merging is going to be a challenging part, but that should be the way to go!! (no point in having two window [or tabs] having opened all the times!)

I think Google Reader has undoubtedly become Favorite RSS reader of the Mass.. Others should just retire!! (No offence, if you are BlogLines reader!!)

Go build your piece of cake! And yeah, if you are a geek feel free to subscribe to my Google Reader Shared Items

Stay tuned.. Wave


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