After a long run with Google Reader, I’m switching over to NewsBlur. Two key points to the decision: it’s open source and Samuel is experimenting with ways to enhance your information management.

For the former, one idea that’s already come up: I’d love to contribute “Share to WordPress” integration. Oh, and it would be really neat to pull comments already on the post into the reading experience. There seem to be some type of comments limited to just NewsBlur.

The user experience has significant room for improvement. Hopefully he takes the dough he’s pulling in now to hire a proper designer.

It’s also been on my list for a long time to cull my feed subscriptions. Based on what I’m seeing, roughly 90% of blogs died between 2010 and early 2012.

On that note, you need to watch Anil Dash’s “The Web We Lost”:

“The first thing you do, when you succeed in Silicon Valley and your company is acquired, is destroy everyone’s wedding photos […] The reality is those of us that [cared about open formats] have lost.”

It’s time the Open Web became the cool thing to hack on again.


Mike Bijon April 6, 2013 Reply

Better syncing with WordPress would be awesome. I’m currently undecided between NewsBlur and Feedly and that would definitely swing my choice.

Anil’s presentation is dead on. At the risk of parroting, I think we need to have better collaboration between open source projects. It feels like the “any help I can give or get” attitude that was common early in some open source projects may have faded as help is more available and the problems or bugs have become very project-specific.

Daniel Bachhuber April 6, 2013 Reply

In what ways would you want it to sync better?

Mike Bijon April 7, 2013 Reply

Like you mentioned, sharing to WordPress and adding some way to view comments. As-is I don’t think NewsBlur syncs as much as just pulls the feed.

Surfacing comments, BTW, seems to be one of the biggest things that seems to have gone away from readers. I feel like comments have been fading as part of the reading experience ever since Scoble showed that video of how fast he could sort, scan and discard content using Reader’s key commands. Took it away from reading and discussing, and turned it more into a contest of volume.

Sam Clay April 7, 2013 Reply

NewsBlur provides those comments in an RSS feed for individual users, so you could quite easily pull out a specific user’s comments. Additionally, NewsBlur’s API provides comments on a per-feed basis, as well. Just pull the feed out of NewsBlur’s API and comments will be separated by people you know and people you are not following. Convenient!

AlwaysARedhead April 8, 2013 Reply

NewsBlur sounded fabulous until they wanted my credit card, apparently free accounts have been suspended due to an overwhelming response. This is a negative for them.

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