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All the things: Paper vs Unread

2 minute read Published:

When Paper and Unread launch in the same week its hard for me to not compare the two. The obvious comparison is that they are both news readers1. Its like they both answer the same question with wildly different answers. Paper is all the things to all the people, because Facebook. Where as Unread uses the same things to make something equally spectacular, but for far less people. As much as I wish I could teach everyone in the land to use a reader (because its better), they aren’t going to listen to me.

FeedShare: an OPML sharing service

1 minute read Published:

Ask, and ye shall recieve. Brent Simmons posted his OPML file on saturday1, and also wrote “I wish there were an OPML sharing service.”. I am sure more than a handfull of people thought, I can do that, but FeedShare beat us all 2. I added my feeds and I hope you do to. http://inessential.com/2014/01/04/my_feeds [return] http://inessential.com/2014/01/06/feedshare_net [return]

The Rumproarious eBook

1 minute read Published:

I have been threatening to do this for a while, and now I have. I created a mini-ebook about the future of feed readers. I used many of the blog posts that I wrote over the last few weeks as the raw material for it, but I tried to craft a solid narrative for the ebook. Check it out: Feeding Our Reading Habits Also available in PDF and for the Kindle.

Network Thinking In TV

5 minute read Published:

The Sopranos is a story about a man that happens to be set in the world of organized crime. The Wire is a story about a setting, Baltimore, that happens to include a story about some people. They just so happen to be there so we learn a little about their lives, but the the real story is that of the city. This distinction is what makes The Sopranos one of the biggest shows of the last 20 years, and it makes The Wire a show with a small but vocal crowd who think it may be the best TV show ever made.

What Would a Facebook Reader Mean?

4 minute read Published:

Last week multiple signs started to appear that point to the fact that Facebook might be prepping a news reader. While there has been discussion of the possibility few, if any, have tried to figure out what it would mean in general. Admittedly, there are few details, but it’s not that hard to extrapolate from past actions. You need to look at this from a couple different perspectives though. Why does this make sense for Facebook, Publishers, or the consumer?

Tastestalking

3 minute read Published:

Discovery is a pretty broad activity for one tool, but the idea is simple. Some cycles are inward, convergent paths, meaning you end up getting deeper and narrower into a topic over time. For certain topics, this isn’t always bad. Often you would go deeper on subjects that matter to you. In general though, you want to slowly move outwards. It’s a form of diversification. You don’t want your sources to stagnate, or you could end up missing out on a larger context.

Juxtapositon In Feed Readers

4 minute read Published:

Juxtaposition is a technique that gets used quite often without anyone noticing. It gets used and misused daily by the media to great effect. To understand the power of juxtaposition I think it helps to talk about the Kuleshov Effect: “Kuleshov edited together a short film in which a shot of the expressionless face of Tsarist matinee idol Ivan Mosjoukine was alternated with various other shots (a plate of soup, a girl in a coffin, a woman on a divan).

Sync Is Key For Feed Readers

3 minute read Published:

Sync could simply be explained as the process of making everything the same in multiple places. In terms of an RSS reader, I think it’s the technical cornerstone of the tool. Information doesn’t care where you are or what device you are on. It is created at breakneck speeds, and you should be able to manage it from anywhere on any device. While this is a clear value proposition, not everyone would agree, but there are other reasons why sync is important.

Super Human Reading Powers

3 minute read Published:

Growing up I was told that I had a learning disability. Some form of dyslexia, I think, I don’t remember exactly what it was. I don’t really think about it that much now days because I don’t think its holding me back any. But, I have started to think that the reason I enjoy using feed readers so much is because of whatever learning disability I had, or have is. Also, how I use a feed reader as a tool to stay afloat could probably be used by others to achieve spectacular results.

Context Is King

4 minute read Published:

Websites place content within a context of their choosing. They make certain decisions for the user that range from simple to subtle. The fact that using a feed reader gives more control to the user over context is the best and most basic reason to use a feed reader. While the case to be made is not that every website out there has nefarious reasons for its context. We simply don’t always need to let the website make those decisions.