Fixing Google Reader

Google makes a lot of great products, however none of them are perfect. Google Contacts, is a great example of software in major need of an overhaul.

Google Reader is actually a great product, and the absolute center of my daily absorption web content. The amount of stuff that I read on Google Reader on a daily basis is probably a little insane, but I have a tremendous need for information. Without a good RSS reader, I would never have enough time to take it all in; I barely have enough as it is.

As a power-user of Google Reader, I have two simple suggestions that would dramatically improve the user interface:

Search Starred Items Within a Specific Feed

Google Reader allows you to view “all items,” or just “new items” in a given feed. It also allows you to “star” or favorite any item that strikes your fancy.

I don't normally star my own writing, I promise I just did it to illustrate the feature.

I star a lot of stuff because I think I might need it for work, a post, or in my personal life at some point in the future. I’m not sure how many starred items I have, but there have to be a few thousand of them.

Sometimes I just want to view all of the starred items for a given feed, and I can’t do it. It’s not an option.

The only way to view starred items is to look at all of them at once. It’s annoying because sometimes I just want to spend some times reading the starred items from my friends’ blogs, or I am just feeling like looking at Lifehacker content.

This is a simple fix, and I hope Google does it.

Give Google Reader some “star power!”

Bookmark a Non-Feed Page

I don’t bookmark much in my browser because I use three different computers on a regular basis, and I always want to have access to my links.

It would be great if I could bookmark a page from a site that I do not subscribe to on Google Reader.

Instead I find myself cluttering my email with link-packed self-emails, or dropping them into Delicious (a site that I don’t frequent much these days). Both options are suboptimal.

I think that Google could prompt me to terminate my Delicious account if they add a bookmarking feature to Google Reader.

Those are my improvements. Both would be simple to code, so I hope that Google implements them.

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