How could be helpful to next generation RSS readers


Guest post from team member @voidfiles

Like many, I was dismayed when Google announced they were sunsetting Reader. Ever since I first figured out what that odd bright orange button was and subscribed to my first feed, I was hooked. I subscribed to anything with a feed. I was so enthralled with the ecosystem that I eventually started my own blog, where I write about blogs and RSS (it’s meta, I know). Before I was aware of what was happening to me, reading an aggregated stream of information shaped me, and I’m not alone.

RSS developers in the community is not lacking in RSS luminaries – from Brent Simmons, the creator of NetNewsWire and Samuel Clay, the creator of NewsBlur to Brett Slatkin, the co-creator of the PuSH protocol and Julien Genestoux, the creator of Superfeedr. They are at home on among this community of people who use RSS (many now seeking an alternative to Google Reader).

How the API could be used by developers working on RSS-related projects

There are many ways that can be used to augment and build on an existing feed reader. Here are a few (there are, no doubt, more):

  • Authentication: For starters, users could login to your reader app using their identity. Then they would be able to use their social graph to find others who are also using the app. In fact, @samuelclay demonstrated this exact feature at the last Hackathon.
  • Post API: An app that integrates with could allow users to create a post that would show up in their public stream which links to an interesting blog post they found while using the app.
  • Message API: Instead of creating a public post an app could allow an user to share a blog post privately with one or many friends.
  • File API: An app could use the File API to keep backups of a user’s OPML file.

Do you have more ideas about how the APIs could be used by developers building the next generation of RSS readers? Please participate in the public discussion, or join the Patter room with the topic “Replacing Reader.”