What’s On Your Google Reader Wishlist?

Image representing Google Reader as depicted i...

Image via CrunchBase

This week Google announced that by July, their Google Reader service will be a memory. A number of companies have stepped up to the plate with announcements of services.  This includes companies like Digg and Feedly.  My current RSS reader service is Feedly, primarily because I like the magazine layout which makes it easy to read in Chrome, on my tablet and on my phone.

The announcements started me thinking though about what I’d like to see in a replacement service (beyond what Feedly currently provides).  Here’s the list I came up with:

  • The ability to search for RSS feeds.  Prior to using Google Reader I had to search web sites for their RSS feeds, and subscribe to each one individually.  Or use the JournalTOCs site to find journal-related RSS feeds. With Google Reader I could simply enter a search term and find all feeds that contained relevant content. Or use an existing RSS feed to help me “find more feeds like this one”.
  • The ability to subscribe to searches.  I’d like a button in the Google/Google Scholar/PubMed search results that let’s me subscribe to the search.
  • Google News integration.  I currently use Google News to keep up-to-date on a variety of topics.  For example, I have a search called “Mutation” that finds news articles about discoveries where a mutation was found to be involved.  It’s useful when  the etiology of so many diseases involve a genetic mutation.  Whenever I open my Google News page, there’s a Mutation channel that contains the latest news articles.  I’d like to be able to subscribe to that channel as an RSS feed.
  • Browser integration.  Any time I click on an RSS feed, I want my browser to automatically add it to my collection of feeds, and let me categorize the feed.
  • Share With Multiple Social Networks.  Right now, sharing is unnecessarily complex.  To share an article, you have to click on each service, and provide a comment and tag.  If you want to share on 4 different services, you have to repeat that process 4 times.  I’d like to click on an article, select the services I want to send the article to, and craft a short message.  When I click submit, I want to article to be shared on all of the services simultaneously, or select a time when I want the article to be shared.  This last requirement would allow me to target times when I know specific readers are most likely to pickup on the content.  For example, if you send content to Twitter subscribers who haven’t woken up yet, you’re not likely to get much of a response.
  • Filter Feed Content.  There are a lot of journal feeds that contain content I’m not interested in.  I’d like to filter those feeds to only show me relevant content.  I would be able to switch back and forth between the filtered and unfiltered content to see what I’ve missed.
  • Saving Content.  I’d like to be able to tag and star content.  This will let me create collections of articles with a particular theme.  It should also be smart enough to be able to extract tags from the RSS’s article element, and mine the abstract or content of the article for tags that I’ve previously used.  For example, if I’ve tagged an article with #KRAS, then if this new article also contains the term KRAS, I want the service to automatically apply that tag.  It should also automatically apply tags for terms found in ontologies — in particular terms having to do with genes, diseases, and drugs.
  • Creating & Sharing RSS Bundles.  One of the really useful features in Google Reader was the ability to bundle RSS feeds and share those bundles.  This made it easy for me to share my journal RSS feeds with friends.  It would be great if we could share those RSS bundles with Google Plus Communities.
  • Find Content From Social Network.  Let me find articles, and RSS feeds that people in my social network have recommended, starred, or tagged.
  • Use Any Kind of News Reader.  There are so many news reader applications out there, and everyone has their favorite.  I want to be able to export my RSS feed collection as an OPML file.  Whenever I launch my RSS reader it would simply sync with the OPML file.
  • Smart PubMed integration.  I often find myself doing PubMed searches and sharing the results in Mendeley or Google Plus:
    • it would be useful if I could see a histogram of the journals that contained my search results.  Those journals that contained the most hits are most likely to be the ones I should be paying attention to, and the ones whose RSS feeds I would most likely subscribe to.
    • I’d also like to see a histogram of authors to help me find the experts in a particular area.
    • I’d like to tag or save articles in a collection, and then do a “find more articles like this” search.
    • Show me a tag cloud of common terms in the articles of search result, or in a collection, and let me turn any of those terms into a new subscribable search.

What would you like to see in a Google Reader replacement?


About Mark Fortner

I write software for scientists doing drug discovery and cancer research. I'm interested in Design Thinking, Agile Software Development, Web Components, Java, Javascript, Groovy, Grails, MongoDB, Firebase, microservices, the Semantic Web Drug Discovery and Cancer Biology.
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