Wednesday, November 02, 2011

How to replace Google Reader

Google Reader Social is dead. Thanks to its creators for showing what could be done, and thanks go Google for leaving room in the market to do this right.

Fortunately, it's not hard to do it right. At least, it's not hard for Reeder or NetNewsWire to do it right.

Even better, there's money in this market. We Google Reader infovores are ... different. Ok, not quite human. Whatever. We'll pay to reestablish what was lost.

The solution has the following components:
a. The shared item store: Posterous, Blogger, Wordpress, Tumblr (any blog-like thing will do)
b. The shared item data: Title and any one or none of: annotation, excerpt, url (all editable).
c. The tweet: Title, url (short), annotation.
d. Optional: A G+ pointer to the persistent shared item.
e. Optional: A Facebook pointer to the persistent shared item.
f. The platform: Reeder, NetNewsWire or a non-Google web based feed reader.
g. Bookmarklet to invoke the platform
This is how it works:
  1. Using NetNewsWire or (iOS) or (Mac) I see an item I want to share.
  2. I click a button or swipe, etc.
  3. I get a Google Reader style data entry area - title, url, excerpt, annotation. (Note I can simply share a note).
  4. On submission Write to the persistent store and create the Tweet.
  5. Note the minimal action set is two clicks. One to show the data entry area, one to submit it. Optionally provide a secondary 1 click action that shares title, url, annotation.
That's it. That's all we need. The rest is details. This implementation meets my replacement criteria. If I use Wordpress on Dreamhost as my persistent store, for example, I have the data and I'm paying for the service and for the platform. That's what I want.

No rights reserved for any of this. It's all public. Anyone can use it. Do whatever you want.

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