1,000+ Unread Feeds Is Also An Opportunity For An Entrepreneur

blog moved to www.leo-chen.com Earlier this week, Michael Arrington posted an article on TechCrunch complaining about the frustration of dealing with an overflow of emails (2,433 unread in his inbox to be exact). Though I don’t have that problem and am fairly diligent when it comes to responding to emails, I think it would be great to have Outlook auto-prioritize emails by keywords, contact, frequency of email exchanges with contacts, subject line, topics, etc.

Jealous Thankful that I don’t have 2,433 emails in my inbox, I ran into a similar problem in my Google Reader. After falling behind on one day or reading, I ended up with 1,000+ unread feeds the next morning.

GoogleReader - 1000+

Typically when this happens, I just scan through to my favorite feeds, scroll through a few unread articles, then click “Mark all as read” to start with a clean slate. Here’s a few problems with this method:

  • I miss out on great articles in feeds outside of my 3-4 favorites
  • Even in my favorite feeds, I end up wasting time glancing through entries I don’t particularly care for. I don’t have much interest in a random article on a stranger’s favorite music and I’m sure many people don’t really care about me bowling a 300 on Wii. Some blog entries are meant for close friends and a small niche of the readers.
  • High volume feeds (e.g. Engadget, Gizmodo, KillerStartups) with 20-50 daily posts quickly become overwhelming and I quickly retreat to the “Mark all as read” button

So here’s another opportunity for an entrepreneur – make a feed reader that filters & prioritizes feeds based on user defined settings. I would like to see the following features:

  • Feed ranking (allow users to rank their feeds)
  • Keyword filters (e.g. Engadget.com – show me posts on PS3, Wii, Macs, Phones; I really don’t care about the Pleo, OLPCs or Chinese knock-offs)
  • Tag filters (many bloggers have their own set of categories/tags for each post, I care about ‘startup advice’, don’t care about ‘tvshows’)
  • Filter articles under a certain length (80% of the article under 200 words are crap, might as well use Twitter for those)
  • After applying these user defined ranks & filters, group all these feeds into a single tab

If Google Reader has these functions, I’d almost pay to use it. If you know of a feed reader out there that already have these functions, please tell me (but don’t tell them I’d pay to use it). If you have any other ideas for features, I’d love to hear them in the comments.


1 Response to “1,000+ Unread Feeds Is Also An Opportunity For An Entrepreneur”

  1. 1 Adam Schoenfeld March 27, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    There is a huge opportunity on feed readers. I would also like to see a feature where it groups related headlines across feeds (kind of like techmeme type view) so I can quickly identity overlap. I don’t need to read the same article on techcrunch, gigaom, venture beat, and mashable… just catching it on one source is enough. I love the tagging idea as well, especially if tags can be added by authors and readers some how.

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