Waiting for Chris Wetherell

Whenever there are big changes to Google Reader Chris Wetherell usually has something insightful to say. In the latest cycle he has done an interview with Om Malik, but he hasn’t written a post yet.

It’s not surprising given that he is the creator of Google Reader that he might have something to say. I have always enjoyed his posts in the past.

Given that we are about to see a bunch of new feed readers, the reason I am waiting is that his old posts about the birth of Google Reader are always incredibly insightful, even upon re-reading. Whenever the RSS conversation starts I always go back to the original principles that he laid down for his own feed reader.

“Feed reading is inherently polymorphic … I believed a feed reader’s interface might have to be athletically flexible to match a wide variety of reading styles … Based only partly on user growth after each view launched it’s my opinion that Reader’s frontend flexibility has been crucial to its success.”

I think that when people talk about RSS readers everyone thinks that how they use a feed reader is the most common way, but that can’t be true. Not only are their so many different readers, but there are so many different ways to configure each reader that we can’t all be doing it the same way. And yet, when each new feed reader is born we all expect it to do everything we want, and yet he did.

We are looking now at a bunch of RSS readers being born, and I wonder how many of them are going back and reading these posts?