Chris Wetherell on Google Reader

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Chris Wetherell (of Google, until today) has an interesting series of posts at massless.org on the background to Google Reader and thoughts about feed readers in general:

One section is particularly relevant at the moment:

Content that is perceived to be most valuable is not currently available in feeds.

This problem keeps me awake at nights.

In every user study involving people who've never used a feed reader the lack of full information for the feed they attempted to look at first was a big turnoff for them using a feed reader.

What concerns me is this: people often want the results of well-known media but much of this is still either firewalled or put behind partial feeds which make the feed reading experience less compelling generally. I can understand why publishers feel they should do this since the expenses for a lot of journalism and media creation aren't small and they can't perceive how this would help them make money. They need a solution to this right now - their industry is facing tough challenges.

I don't want the enterprise of efficient, elegant syndication on the web to sit on the sidelines while good resources in investigative journalism bleed out. (Seriously, it looks like they're bleeding out.) And the feed reading space is growing rapidly. There has to be a way for all of us in the feed community to help.