“Phone” is to the iPhone as “RSS reader” is to ?

It’s time to iterate on the product formerly known as the RSS reader. Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr are going in a direction that emphasizes usability and ephemerality over durable value and utility. I want someone to do to the RSS reader what Apple has done to the iPhone. The iPhone is a phone — but it’s also a completely different paradigm.

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What I read, December 2010

On Kommons, Andrew Spittle asked what I’m reading now that I’m no longer on Twitter or Facebook. For now, I mostly consume content with Reeder (on the iPhone and desktop, and synced with Google Reader), Instapaper, or as podcasts. My Economist print subscription lapsed about a month ago but I’m thinking about picking it up again.

There’s a balance to my RSS consumption. I subscribe to sites like Techmeme and Mediagazer to keep tabs on the zeitgeist. Nieman Lab and Romenesko are requirements to keep up with the industry. When they publish, Ethan Zuckerman, Jonathan Stray, Paul Graham, Mark Pesce, and Stijn Debrouwere always offer unexpected insight. I also subscribe to a dozen or so people’s personal Twitter accounts, partly because they share good links and partly to keep up with what my friends are up to.

My Instapaper is mostly fed by longer items I come across by RSS, the Instapaper homepage, or Give Me Something to Read.

As far as podcasts go, there’s another dozen or so I listen to on a regular basis. These include Spark from CBC Radio, BBC Digital Planet, Stanford’s Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders, a few from FORA.tv, IT Conversations, NPR’s Planet Money, WNYC’s On The Media, Peter Day’s World of Business, Rebooting the News, Seminars about Long-Term Thinking, and This Week in Tech. Podcasts are likely my favorite form of media. They’re good fodder for daydreaming during long runs or workouts.

If you’d like, you can also download my whole OPML file.

Reeder for iPhone

Reeder for iPhone. It’s the user experience of Fever with all of the functionality of Google Reader, including shared items, plus bonus features like Instapaper integration, save to Delicious or Pinboard, and offline syncing that. just. works.

What’s more is that I can’t believe Gruber hasn’t linked it yet. A well-deserved hat tip goes to Pete Karl.