Unofficial poll on Google Reader features

Earlier this year, I was reading about 100 feeds in Google Reader. When I went on vacation for a few weeks, I cut back to about 30 feeds. But I thought I’d be smart about the 70 feeds that I stopped reading. Instead of unsubscribing from those 70 feeds completely, I made an “unread” folder and moved the feeds to the “unread” folder. Why? Well, I figured that at some point, I might be able to go back and catch up on all the unread items that I’d missed in those 70 feeds.

Not too long ago, I did try to go back and catch up on all those unread items in Google Reader. Hooray! But there was a problem: it looks like if you don’t read an item within 30 days or so, the item automatically gets marked as read in Google Reader. So for those 70 feeds, I lost a few months of potentially interesting items. ๐Ÿ™

I spend a lot of time in Google Reader every day, and I really love it (and the Google Reader team!). It’s rare that I discover something like the “silently mark an item as read after 30 days” surprise. So I started making a list of all the little features that I might want in Google Reader. Just to be clear, I haven’t talked to the Reader team at all about their planned features or roadmap, so this is just a personal list that I came up with myself. What feature would you most want to see in Google Reader?


I’m sure I missed some good suggestions. What features would you want to see in Google Reader? Remember, this is just an informal poll. I’m sure the Reader team is busy; I was personally just curious what Google Reader features people would want.

122 Responses to Unofficial poll on Google Reader features (Leave a comment)

  1. By the way, there is a workaround for the “silently mark an item as read after 30 days” issue. Click on the feed that you are interested in, and it will say “Feed X has no unread items.” Below it you’ll see a link labeled “View all items.” Click that link, and you’ll get an essentially infinite feed so you can go back in time and read the feed from whenever you want.

  2. I think it would be awfully cool if reader supported IMAP. I may just be in a IMAP phase from using gmails – but it seems that feeds, items and folders could go together rather well with IMAP. It would also be really nice to be able to use any decent mail client as a intelligent feed reader (phone, outlook, etc).

    I do know a couple other web feed readers support it. I just prefer Reader over all.

  3. I don’t use Google Reader all that often as I’ve been lately using NewsFox…however, I found one interesting add-on to Firefox called BlogRovR, that basically reads whatever page your on and pulls form you feeds any summaries talking about or linking to that page.

    Something similar within Google Reader would be great, only I would open it to pull in random news from the “blogsphere”. That it is your reading something, it would be great to see what “others” have said about the topic.

  4. Hi Matt

    Great blog, just “delurking” here for the first time.

    I really lack some sort of automatic tagging/alerts like google alerts, so i can set keywords that trigger or label posts depending on their keyword. This would make it much easier to track for instance current events across many different blogs or any other subject.


  5. what about the ability to recognize/group redundant posts from different blogs that I’ve subscribed to? That way, every time a new start-up launches, I don’t have to flip through ten posts from different tech blogs that give me the same news…

  6. I would just love to see a drag and drop feature.
    I love the reader as it is and it seems to fit perfectly and is way better than almost any desktop application i’ve used over the years.

  7. I may have misused the reader somehow, but it appeared to show just the text and the links without the formatting.

    I really enjoy the personality delivered by the CSS, so end up going to the blog itself for the full experience.


  8. martinsc, when I first moved from Bloglines to Google Reader, I really missed the drag/drop. But over time I’ve gotten where I don’t worry about rearranging the feed order very much. It would be nice to have, though.

  9. I’d love to see a search based RSS feed that’s generated from a search item that I made inside Google Reader so that I could keep track of a specific search item easily rather than having to search for it every time to check for updates.

    While one can split the feeds into folders/sections, this would allow for an even more powerful form of management/view of specific areas covered by one’s total subscribed feeds.

  10. A.
    I need a better unsubscribe to keep track of the feeds which are not anymore interesting for now, but … they might be again in the future.

    * replace Unsubscribe with a Schedule of type “read feed new posts every … sunday …” similar to the google calendar schedule.
    * The feeds which are not scheduled or are scheduled more often to have a stronger color than the feeds which are scheduled with less frequency.

    While scheduling, I would like to be able to limit the maximum number of posts which become readable at a time.
    This could help with eLearning when I want to learn a tip/trick every day, or I want to read a new chapter from a book every Sunday.

  11. What about a public view of all the feeds I mark public? Like Bloglines…

    Drag and drop would be good and a duplicate filter, especially when you subscribe to Shared feeds…

  12. I’d love to see a feature that can group unread items together based on their content. Sometimes I’ll see the same news story come up in 5 different feeds all in the same day. It’s easy enough to skip past them but imagine if I could skip past the whole stack at once. Or if I could jump to the related articles about the same news item really easily. A good example might be the story about the purchase of part of Facebook. That showed up on half a dozen news feeds all in a few hours but once I’ve read the first story, I usually don’t care about reading all the other ones.

  13. I’ve been quite happy with the Reader, but thus far my biggest pet peeve is that ‘v’ (view original) opens in the foreground, rather than the background. I imagine it has something to do with the way the page opens that bypasses firefox’s setting in that regard.

    Otherwise, good stuff ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. actually, i don’t want a new feature … i want a feature that was once there back ! (and i am not the only one according to the “Google Reader Help” group.)

    i don’t want read articles to show up anymore when i go to a certain folder.

    the problem is, lets say i have 25 new unread posts in folder ‘photography’, i go read the first 20 ones. then i am distracted and have to do something else, then some time later i want to continue reading, i see there are still 5 unread items in ‘photography’, but then i first have to scroll through 20 read posts to find the unread ones.

    so i d love a setting somewhere to toggles ‘show unread posts’. so only unread posts show up next time i open that folder.

    doesn’t really sounds like the most complex change request to me.

    beside this big annoyance, i am really happy with google reader ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. I have wanted a “mark as unread” button for ages.

    It would be handy to mark something as unread if you are too busy to read something and want to return to it another day

  16. I wish there was a way of temporaroly disabling feeds, instead of having to put them in a “unread” folder like you did.

    And feeds that stop working could be disabled as well, or marked as “broken” or something instead of just disappearing like they did for me.

  17. Hi Matt,

    Can you change the poll so we can choose multiple options ๐Ÿ˜‰


  18. This post reminded me of a bug I was too slow to post – how come when I click “Blog Search” from the main Google welcome page, it doesn’t remember my query? It’s quite annoying – images, news and the rest it seems to work fine on, but going to blog search makes you start again.

    Lazy I know, but it does bug me. Sorry if this is the wrong place to point it out.

  19. Sorry, forget to actually make some suggestions too.

    – I reported this as a bug ages ago on the google group for google reader, but it never got a response. Feed titles are cached server-side, so if a feed I subcribed to 100 days ago changes its title, the title in google reader will never change.

    – At work it would be extremely useful if we could combine our shared items into a pool, so if anyone at work finds anything that would be related to our team, we could share it with everyone else within our team in one central place. When you have a team of 20+ people, viewing each persons individual shared items can take forever ๐Ÿ™

    – When you click on mark as read, the light grey box becomes checked. I find that quite hard to see, so I think it would be a lot more beneficial if the text changed too. It does this on all the other items such as star and share, so I don’t see why it’s not done on this one!

    That’s all I can think of, offhand ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you have a good haloween Matt!

  20. Whoops – database error when casting my vote. I’ve not got any major requirements for any of the above. Perhaps I’d like more options available to me within the mobile version (not specifically iPhones).

  21. 1. ability to have more than 1 shared items list (eg have one shared items list relating to tech news, another to cool/lifestyel type stuff, etc )

    2. ability to add comments when I share an item

  22. Oh man, the choice! I’d choose atleast four of those features if I had the choice, but in the end went with drag and drop. My 150 or so feeds are a mess and only drag and drop can save me.

  23. Love the reader … would now be lost without it’s ability to manage the daily flood. Only a few items to suggest:

    – Share a folder with friends / co-workers

    – Ability to tag items for viewing into custom folders (that ideally can then be shared). Kinda crosses over into notebook territory I know but again very useful for groups sharing interests. Perhaps tight integration with notebook

    – Put a feed into Vacation mode. It will still be in the feed list but dormant and not receive items until it is made active again

    – Ability to auto-tag material based on keywords in the item.

    – drag and drop for tagging new feeds

  24. It really ought to have a different semantics than marking old items as read – e.g. mark them as ‘expired’ or something.

  25. I’d like to be able to sort feeds in order of attention. The ones I read the most at the top. So if I have limited feed reading time I can quickly get to the ones I like most.

    Turn off Google Reader’s automatic updating of feeds. The reason has to do with my reading pattern. I start at the top of my feeds and work my way down. Then when I’m done I like to mark all feeds as read, so that when I come back to read another time I have a clean slate. All new items which I’ve not seen before. This way I don’t waste time scanning, looking for what’s new and skipping over stuff I’ve already read.

  26. I would love the ability to mark each feed with whether I want to view it in list or full mode.

  27. The one thing I’m waiting for is a Gmail integration. I don’t want to have to open 3 different websites to check my e-mail, rss feeds, and groups.

  28. Answer for Diego is to put your “read every day” items into a folder called “aaa daily” or something similar and the jokes (xkcd, unshelved Sheldon etc), interesting but not essential items etc (mine include literature, knitting patterns, talking about the kids and the dogs) into zzz. Just don’t let zzz get too long or you’ll never read the “nice” bits.

    My beef is that if I want to email an item I used to be able to shortcut using “e” and then start typing the address. Why when you can then tab to the “send” field could you not have a shortcut? Now even the e to bring up the email and then start typing the address doesn’t work and you have to mouse to the field to move back to the keyboard, type the address, tab to the comment and type it, and then mouse again to send.

    Haz anyone else picked up on spacebar to move from one item to the next? I used to use J and K to move around but the spacebar not only moves smoothly through the feed but moves to the next one with new items in. Brilliant for saving energy and my wrist tendons.

  29. Iยดd like
    – “Google Reader Shared Items” – “Google Shared Stuff” integration;
    all the goodies of Shared Stuff brought to Google Reader.
    – Suggestions for feeds that didnยดt update for a while because the feed name changed.
    – An option to let the search scope change with the feed (or group of feeds Iยดm reading

    @Dean: Yes, Iยดd like that as well. This should be made easy to establish
    It is possible at this moment, but iยดll take some time to set it up.

    – fetch the feed url of each of your co-workers shared items feed
    – group those feeds together by assigning them all to one uniqe label, say “team shared items”
    – mark that label Public (via: “Manage Subscriptions” > Tags”)
    – sent the url of this, now Public, feed to your co-workers with the
    “email a link” feature on this same page
    – ask your co-workers to add this feed to their Google Reader feed list

    Peter Huesken

  30. I would like to be able to sort my starred items by “newest” or “oldest.”

    Everday I run through all my feeds and star things worth reading, then when I’m done (and have some time) I’ll go back and read the good stuff. But I’d want to read that in “oldest first” format.

  31. If I share an item, include my tags in the shared feed

    Please *don’t* let them do this. My tags are private and I don’t want people to know how I’m classifying my feeds. For example, I’ll tag some people’s feeds with “friends” and others as “geeks” and others as “random crap” — I don’t want people to know which category they fall into! ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Put me with David Carrington – I want better small screen support, but will never buy an iPhone.

    For me, the biggest current pain is the Firefox “click on feed and get asked if I want to add it to my homepage or to google reader”. I want to add it to Google Reader. Make that a preference and let me set it and forget it. On that same landing page just add a set of radio buttons for “ask me every time, take the action I choose now automatically in the future”.

  33. I don’t think 30 days it’s a bad date. I think Google Reader could let’s us choose the date when the feed turns “old”.

  34. Matt,

    I want to filter my feeds collected from many websites and combine it to one useful feed with only relevant information. Please ask the team to work on this. I am waiting only for this feature from Google Reader, other than that it is really cool.


  35. I would definitely like to see feed filtering, and the ability to sort feeds by by order of attention as well.

  36. How about adding to the search feature? I follow a lot of feeds and like the fact that I can search old posts, but it gets to be a bit much when searching for a broad topic. Could an advanced search, like by date or particular feed be added to the search functionality?

  37. There’s a feature that’s not on your list but I’m desperate for. Let me group together duplicate items. For example, an AP story may appear 20+ times throughout the day and it’s a waste of time to have to keep viewing. Either, find duplicate stories for me or at least give me the option to sort alphabetically – at least that way I can manually clump duplicate titles together.


  38. It was great to read this post. I am a HUGE fan of Google Reader. However, I am not a fan of suggestions on the web. It would be nice to be able to turn that feature on and off if it gets included. I was also caught be surprise by the “30 days = read” feature. I was also VERY upset. Had I known that this would happen, I would have been using the Reader in a much different way. ๐Ÿ™ I too read a large number of feeds and have to view the reader with the read items filtered. Viewing it the other way now is just unrealistic.

  39. Yeah, I learned about the 30 day cut off the hard way as well… very annoying. But I think the 90 day cut-off would end up being as bad… why not just have it not cut off at all?

  40. The single biggest thing that I want to to be able to stop receiving items from a feed (i.e. unsubscribe) without having to delete all the posts that I already have. I want to keep those older posts which I read and wanted, but no longer want to carry on receiving new posts (the relevance may have gone down). Problem is that unsubscribe and all the history from that feed goes bye-bye.

  41. I’d like to see the ability to organize starred items with tags.. Currently I have a bunch of starred items and they are all just listed one after another – I’d like to be able to organize them so that I can group them in some type of order rather than having them all listed in one group

  42. When reading on mobile phone, when you click on ‘More>>>’ it should remember that I’ve reached that bit of my unread feed. Currently after reading an item, and I don’t want to read the ‘Next item’ I have to go back to Home Page and I will need to start from unread item 1 again.

  43. Drag and drop is a must have.

  44. It’d be nice to “pause” or suspend a feed. There are some feeds I get that, if I miss a day or a week, it’s no big deal. After going on vacation, I usually end up marking everything in those folders as being read.


  45. when you access mobile reader you are limited to just 10 items on the screen, why I can not have 30, or 50 items listed, it takes much more time to re_load another and yet another page then to read 50 items in a row

    also, in mobile reader some feed fields are not visible (such as author name)

  46. One thing I liked about Bloglines is they gave me a public page I could send people to to show them all I was reading. I used it as a blogroll. I could set some feeds to private also.

    I haven’t found that option for gReader and would love it.

  47. The biggest problem with the blogs and such is information overload. Ever more feeds with ever more posts. A feature I’d like to see in Reader to combat information overload is relevance ranking of all unread blog posts, based on my own relevancy votes. Something like bayesian filtering of spam, applied to individual blog postings (not to feeds). Every blog post in Reader should have a “Relevant” and “Irrelevant” button (or Interesting and Not interesting). This would allow me to carefully read the top-N messages and only skim the rest.

  48. I would like to be able to create my own custom folders.
    I would also like a direct link to my “google share” page as well as my notebook.

  49. I’d love to see some sort of automated “hey my feed URL changed” feature.

    For example, if somebody switches to feedburner’s mybrand feature, they should be able to put something in the feed (or a meta tag) or what not, and Google reader will automatically update it to the new feed.

  50. I’d like to see some duplicate finder – agregate all news which are linked to one topic or same new thing.

    f.e. I don’t like reading about “Gmail and new IMAP” in all 30 blogs ๐Ÿ™‚ 1 is enought.

  51. Maybe a Web 2.0 feature : allow us to comment about the feeds by using Google account… this could increase the community sense in Google Reader and maybe know people who have the same interests.

  52. @Dean Clatworthy –

    We do the same as your staff — pool various staff feeds — but we combine them all in a Yahoo Pipe, which works great and produces a single feed URL.

    Two features I’d like to see:
    1. The ability to add “comments” in an area separate from tags when sharing a post. This would satisfy the spirit of adding “tags” to shared items but not violate Tony Ruscoe’s wish to keep tags private.
    2. The ability to “share” a post NOT viewed through the reader — perhaps via the Google Toolbar or some other mechanism. I frequently want to add posts to my shared feed from blogs I don’t necessarily subscribe to.

  53. I’d like a ‘read later’ icon, similar to the add-star/share/email/mark-as-read icons, which puts the feed a new ‘Read Later’ bucket, similar to the ‘Starred Items’ and ‘Shared Items’.

    Often you are reading/scanning hundreds of posts that you can quickly read/review, but then you run into one you want to spend more time on later.

  54. Matt – Long time reader, first time commenter. Your post here made me so glad I am not the only person who has run into this. This issue has bitten me in the past and I have blogged about it repeatedly. I think of these disappearing posts as lost data, and I think it’s a horrible behavior for Google Reader to have. My most recent comments on the issue are here:

    I hope you can shine some light on this and maybe get this behavior changed.

  55. The ability to trash a feed from inside the post expanded view without going over to the feed maintenance page. I have over 800 feeds, and some I would like to trash after seeing the same regurgitated news item for the 90th time that day…

    Just add a trashcan icon to the bottom of each post that would dump the entire feed from my reader.

  56. I stopped counting how many feeds I subscribe but it feels it is never enough, especially because I like to go ever further on interesting topics. So, I voted fot “For a single blog post, show me related blog posts”.

  57. Dean Clatworthy, I’m using the Democracy plug-in, which is great, but I don’t think it will let me do multiple choice. ๐Ÿ™ Great suggestions, by the way. There are a lot of web places that will combine RSS feeds for you into a single feed (e.g. Yahoo Pipes), so if you want to combine everyone’s shared feed, that might be one option.

    Also, I agree with you that the “toggle as read/unread” button isn’t very clear. I didn’t realize that you could click on it to change a read item to unread until a few weeks ago.

    Diego, great idea about sorting the feeds by attention.

    Tony Ruscoe, we seem to be at an impasse. ๐Ÿ™‚ Maybe Google Reader could give us the choice about whether tags should follow along with shared items? Erik Dafforn, great idea about adding a new comments field that could be shared. That breaks impasse on the different working styles that Tony Ruscoe and I have very nicely.

    Pratheep, I tend to agree that some simple RSS operators would be cool, e.g. combine these feeds into one feed, or “give me the Cartoon Barry feed minus posts that contain the text ‘Daily Search Coverage & Link Finds’ “.

    Stephen Pitts, I meant to add “Advanced feed search options” but forgot to. Thanks for mentioning it.

    Andy Beal, I don’t do many news alerts, but grouping or removing duplicate or near-duplicate stories would be cool. Looks like several other people agree with you, too.

    Tim L. Walker, good point. After all, you can always mark a feed as read, so why mark anything as read automatically anyway? I suspect that other people view feeds like a river though, and don’t mind if old stuff magically disappears. It might also prevent the “I feel like I’m so far behind!” feeling if older stuff drops off.

    Perry Ismangil, the mental model for “More>>” on a mobile phone is a little weird, isn’t it? I wasn’t sure if “More>>” would mark those items as read. I did a little experiment to be sure that it didn’t mark things as read.

    Renรฉ, I like that. Sort by relevance and sort by attention are both interesting. It’s strange because I read by feed, and I’ve kind of gotten used to the mix of relevant and non-relevant. I would probably sort by least relevant so that I could clear out most of my feeds first. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Ryan, the ability to move a feed/site might make more sense outside of Reader and in a more general place, but I totally agree that would be cool.

    Omar Yesid Mariรฑo, personally I think that would be very neat if you could comment on a story from Google Reader. Content creators would get more user-generated comments, and it would be easier for users to participate in a conversation because you wouldn’t have to register 50 times for 50 different blogs.

    Alexis Kauffmann, it’s interesting how “show me interesting feeds” vs. “show me related blog posts” are a little different. Interesting feeds would give me several new people to read, but new feeds can add up pretty quickly. But related blog posts could easily expose you to a bunch of different authors’ viewpoints for any item you happen to be interested in.

    Great ideas everybody. Keep the suggestions coming!

  58. How about making it easier to use on a mobile device. For example now it’s just one big “river of news” type listing. I have my feeds in folders which have different priorities. I would want to know what any body is saying about me or any client sites I monitor ASAP, knowing britney forgot wear her undies again can wait till I get in front of a keyboard (not because the screen is bigger).

  59. I would love to be able to put feeds “on hiatus” so that they stay in Reader, but they don’t update. That way, when things get busy I can put unnecessary feeds on hiatus and not have a backlog build up.

    It would also be good for feeds you only read occasionally, like bargain sites during Christmas shopping season, or political blogs during an election.

  60. graywolf, I agree. Sometimes I load the web version of Google Reader on my iPhone, just so that I can choose which folders to read.

    It’s interesting to me how Google Reader is this really useful web tool, but a lot of people on this thread (probably power users) want to really crank up the advanced features like sharing and viewing in different ways. Right now Reader has a lot of simplicity, and I’m sure it’s hard to balance that simplicity with all the features that people want.

    Everyone, I just went through and approved a bunch of comments, so you should see a lot more now.

  61. It would be nice if Reader had support for http authentication, ie, for feeds that require a username/password.

    Ironically, this includes feeds from Gmail; so, Google reader is unable to subscribe to Gmail feeds.

    I had wanted this so I could follow the feed of one (filtered, auto-archived) gmail label (great feature, having feeds for every label)… but couldn’t do it in Reader. I wound up creating a script with MagpieRSS to read the feed and translate it back into at ATOM feed that didn’t require authentication, and then subscribing to that feed… But should that really be necessary? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  62. …but that was a poll option already. Missed that; sorry.

  63. The ability to group items in the All Items folder by feed. Strict sorting by date doesn’t work well for me, as the loss of context when bouncing between topics is jarring.

  64. Peter Huesken, great tip on how to combine shared feeds!

    blr bytes, I’m not sure if you know about the “Shared items” feed? When you read an item, you can click “Share” at the bottom of the item, and that becomes available in a feed that you can share with other people You only get one shared feed though, which might make things harder.

    rob, this link might help you:
    And the Reader team has a couple links about blogrolls as well:
    I’ll be the first to admit that the whole “clip” concept is a little foreign to me. That’s why I added the “More blogroll customization options” in the poll.

    Bruno Waes, have you tried toggling between showing updated posts vs. all posts? On the left-hand side of Reader, try clicking “updated” and then you shouldn’t see the posts you’ve already read.

    Andrew, at the bottom of each item there’s a “read/unread” toggle. Click the checkbox to mark an item as unread again. It took me forever to realize I could mark items as unread too.

    Fred, for the “read later” feature, I mark an item as unread (see paragraph above) and then that way I can come back to it later. For example, I often do that with the Daily Searchcap that Search Engine Land does. I mark it as unread and then circle back in the evening to see what stuff in the recap I missed during the day.

    Michael Riley, agreed on the ability to share into multiple feeds and to add comments when sharing an item.

    By the way, I like the “customize the links at the bottom of each item” option. Imagine if you could add a new button that would send an item into delicious, or submit it to digg, or whatever else. The Google IE toolbar lets you create very general buttons that do custom things:
    I’d love the ability to define a button name in Google Reader, then enter a destination url, plus the ability to have the destination url have stuff like “{url}” to fill in the url of the original item. That general ability would let people design and add their own “flair” to do lots of cool stuff.

    Ludwik Trammer, if you want Gmail integration, you might want to check out these unofficial Greasemonkey scripts for Gmail:
    One of them integrates Reader. My favorite though is the “Saved Searches” script.

    Hazel, I like your idea of ‘e’ as a better keyboard shortcut. My dirty little Google Reader secret is that I don’t fully use the keyboard shortcuts. For some reason, they’re just not intuitive to me. Maybe I should watch the Scoble video of how he reads feed. But I’d prefer if I could define the keys for keyboard shortcuts myself.

  65. No worries, Phil Crissman. Let me throw out a crazy idea, as long as we’re talking about username/password-protected feeds. Sometimes you’re generating a feed on a local machine and you might not be able to expose that feed at a web address. What if you could email feed items to Google Reader, and Google Reader would accept that and show it as a regular feed? That would probably open up some new applications.

    Okay, I think I’m out of Google Reader ideas. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m gonna get back to work, but keep the suggestions coming..

  66. This is more of a toolbar feature than a Google Reader feature, but I’d love to see the Google Reader button on the toolbar function a bit more like the Gmail button. I.e. rather than simply sending you straight to Google Reader, I’d love if the button included a dropdown that displayed the most recently updated feeds, with another fly-out for each feed with the most recent posts in the feed.

    This would address pretty much the only reason that I’m still using Live Bookmarks rather than Google Reader for my feeds — with Live Bookmarks, I can check my feeds no matter where my browser window is pointing. With Google reader, I have to load a page on someone’s (i.e. Google’s) website in order to even see if my feeds have been updated. Google Reader has a big advantage over Live Bookmarks because it’s not tied to a single computer, but because it IS tied to a particular URL, I’m still not using it.

  67. I am using google reader since last 8 months… pretty cool application.. still i have few suggestions…which may make it even better…

    1. Change the GUI.. I don’t know why google always sticks with blue… same case with orkut..
    2. Option to make read feed items back as unread (like outlook)
    3. Drag and drop option for managing feeds/folders …
    4. I don’t know how to rename a tag ????
    5. Feed item display should be configurable… number of feed items per page… why don’t you think that it’s not necessary ?

    Cheers ๐Ÿ˜‰

  68. Oh yeah, two more items:

    The “j” shortcut should behave like “space” – when it hits the end of the items for a feed, jump to the first item in the next feed.

    Make keyboard shortcuts case-insensitive. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve tried to use keyboard navigation, only to find I’ve accidentally hit caps-lock and nothing works.

  69. I would like to reiterate what others have said with sorting. The one feature I want to see in Google reader is the ability to sort in reverse order by date. When reading technology news I want to see what happened first and then move to the current news. I would think it would be easy to implement as well, just a sorting option.

    The other feature I am happy they added was search. I don’t know how a Google product went so long without search; its a truly wonderful solution.

    Other than the sorting, I am really happy with Google reader.

  70. I read a lot of feeds (~ 1,000). It’s really important to be able to unsubscribe from a feed when I’m reading a post from it. Currently, that only works if I’ve selected the feed itself on the left — if I’m reading a whole folder, or ‘all unread’, there’s no UI for “unsub from the feed from which this entry came.” That would completely rock.

  71. Some features I am waiting for in Google Reader…
    * instead of date.
    * Ability to change the URL of a feed.

  72. I want to have the ability to apply a rating to posts that I’m sharing and then sort the shared posts by their rating/ranking. There are some posts that I share just because they’re interesting, and others that are just blockbusting awesome. I want to distinguish the blockbusting awesome posts by rating them with a star system or something.

  73. Correct, we should not get stuck with the feeds we don’t read anymore……..

  74. Matt,

    Tops on my list is a front page that will collapse similar stories the way Google News does. If 10 of the feeds I subscribe to are talking about the same story, that story is likely to be of much interest to me.

    Next on my list is to highlight stories that are popular — you can use any number of proxies. e.g. diggs, comments, etc.

    And the no brainer, biggest annoyance of Google’s feed reading is that there’s no way I’ve found to set Google Reader as my default in Firefox. When I use Firefox feed reader to add a subscription (which I’ve set to Google), it always takes me to a picker page to decide between Reader and iGoogle. I want it to always be Reader and I never want to see that page one!

    Here are a couple of blog posts I wrote on Google Reader:

  75. I would like to see embedded video like we have for audio so I could watch my video podcasts like i listen to my audio podcasts with google reader.

  76. Scott Carpenter

    I’d like to filter out link posts. These are especially bothersome for low traffic blogs as I have to keep visiting them and clearing them out. Almost makes me want to unsubscribe even when those people have interesting things to say on the rare occasions they post.

  77. Would be cool if you could run future polls in random item order, this fixed order skews results…

  78. > Show me a “Google News” for the blogosphere, maybe
    > with voting

    Only if you guys promise to keep some blogs in Google News too ๐Ÿ˜‰

  79. This may have been mentioned but I don’t have time to rad through 68 comments! ๐Ÿ™‚ I think it would be nice to have the ability to import the feed from a particular blog subscribed too to my local machine as an xml file or otherwise. I had a wordpress blog deleted, but all my posts sit securley in Google Reader – would be nice to be able to download them through G-Reader!

  80. better for ‘starred items’.
    I’d like to see starred items by blog name for example (for example, add an ‘starred items’ link by the ‘all items’ link in a blog view.

  81. better organization that is…

  82. Philipp Lenssen, true. I tried to mix it up a bit myself, but it’s a flaw of the poll.

  83. RSS authentication isn’t viable unless Google Reader first of all supports methods to prevent the sharing of private data and data where the copyright owner provides content for person use, but not for sharing and republishing.

    I have been beating that drum for over a year. I really don’t content control information being stripped by Google Reader when people share items either.

  84. @Hazel: Thanks for the tip regarding the use of folders to keep often read and non-essential items separate. Appreciate it.

  85. And one fun idea via , which points to

    “It would be very cool to have the capability to import my Outlook, Ziggs, LinkedIn and Plaxo contacts into my Reader account and have Google instantly subscribe to news and blog feeds related to my people.”

    That would be kinda fun. is a stab at a similar idea by Xooglers (that’s ex-Googlers).

  86. I like the friend feeder idea. I find myself more and more when people ask me what has been up with me, I direct them to my blog.

    It is a very easy way to stay up on what friends are into.


  87. How about a donate to charity feed.

    Google is getting very good at “personalized search”. Why not put a personlized “donate to your favorite charity” feed into the equation.

    This is a call to all those that give a damn about something that’s affected them personally.

    I am selling my entire business to focus solely on charity and missions work.

    Anybody want to join me on my campaign to make the world a better place for those that suffer?

    Find me…Contact me….

    Matt, call me.Google can use these efforts for some serious PR (not the green fuzy stuff on the toolbar)

    Let’s band together and cure some aweful diseases that exist in our world.

    Long story made short:
    Get personalized charity into Google Reader.

    I am hell bent on affecting change to those that suffer!

    Matt, use your influence to make this planet a better place!


  88. Easy one, just a pref — I’d like the ability to turn off the auto-polling and auto-refresh, so I’m not tempted to stick around in Reader longer than I really should or want to.

  89. Matt,
    If you really want to know what people think, put the choices in random order every time you display the poll. If you just want to validate your preferred choice, keep doing it like you’re doing it now.

  90. I agree with the drag and drop feature. User friendliness is always a good thing.

    What about an option that checks your favorites, bookmarks (whatever your browser calls them) and suggests feeds according to your preferences?
    Now THAT would make Google reader very popular.

    Great blog BTW, thanks for all the great info.

  91. I want to see some of the features from here:

    I REALLY, REALLY want to see the feature “News watch”

    You may never expect to read all the items you subscribe too, but you may subscribe to them just to find out some particular news story. For example, lets say I subscribe to Digg, Lifehacker, and Mashable. I will never read all the stories there, but if in the feed it happens to find the keyword “iphone” or “mac”, it will automatically tag and highlight the story so I can browse through all these tags in ONE location.

    In this feature I can set many news watch tags and tell it specific feeds to look into. For example, later on I decide I don’t want the keyword “iphone” in the Digg feed. I uncheck it, and run the filter and it automatically updates the watch for any new and existing items.

    Perhaps another good feature is randomly select 5 new stories from each feed and email it you on a daily basis. Just in case you want to read something, but don’t wanna browse through it all…

  92. Dr. David Klein, here’s what I want — and I think it’s a good idea. I want a Firefox extension that tracks POST/GET data to know when I submitted to a form, and logs that url. I go all over the web and leave comments in reply to lots of people. It’s hard for me to pull that all into one feed that I could point someone to. Services like FriendFeed or IntenseDebate or Disqus appear to be limited by which blog owners install the package, or if a site is popular enough that e.g. FriendFeed can write a parser to go and fetch data from it.

    But if I go leave a comment on Cartoon Barry and he doesn’t have any of this CoComment or other stuff installed on his blog, I’m guessing that my comment gets unnoticed by most people.

    So if I had this Firefox extension, I could bring up a history tab and it would tell me all the forms that I submitted to that day (which are for the most part the places where I left comments). I could pick and choose what comments to surface in a “here’s what Matt did on the web today” feed, or most likely for me, I would just select blog packages such as WordPress or Movable Type and any comments I left on those selected blog packages (anywhere on the web) would automatically flow into my “activity steam” feed.

    That would be pretty cool for me. Most people might not need something like that, but I sure would like it.

  93. Thanks Matt, again we know more about it what people want, again I request you please allow us to vote more than one.


  94. Thanks Matt for asking us!

    I’d really like to filter feeds by item-title and -description.

  95. I am waiting with bated breath for authenticated feed support. I still have to check a dozen webpages every day until this feature gets added. I’d like to have everything in one place, and right now I can only have almost everything.

  96. One of the features that USED to be in reader was integration with GMAIL, meaning all of the articles that you email to people were (happily) in your sent mail folder. The other option that used to exist, was the ability to select which ‘from’ sender you wanted to send from (for those of us that use this option in GMAIL). Both of these features were tremendously useful and I was very sad when they removed them. Especially about the Alias issue, as I used to send people on my tech team articles from my ‘work’ email address, and articles to friends from another address. Now everything looks like it’s coming from my GMAIL address and I have to forward it to myself first.

  97. Matts, Thanks for the useful post, While I found Google reader is best rss readers, I want to address my issue that the reader is slow and it could not work properly in other browser except firefox. Also there is no unsubscribe button.

  98. Matt Cutts said, “I would just select blog packages such as WordPress or Movable Type and any comments I left on those selected blog packages (anywhere on the web) would automatically flow into my โ€œactivity steamโ€ feed.”

    I second that motion to have all the Matt Cutts’ pearls of wisdom in one place! People smarter than me who read this blog should be able to develop something.

    1. Matt asks for something.
    2. Someone offers it.
    3. Matt endorses it.
    4. Profit.

  99. I forgot to add, it’s Halloween.



    Outlook/Exchange has a sweet feature that allows outlook to download RSS into folders…

    What this allows? My friend has exchange and can download his feeds on his iphone – so they are available offline!

    Solve this problem! I want my feeds offline – ON my iphone!

    Obviously the easiest way to do this would be to make use the the developers tools Apple in releasing in February? But a solution like Exchanges/Outloosk shouldn’t be that difficult either?


  101. Hi Matt,
    Great discussion brewing here. Thanks for the link love to my GigaOm and American Shelf Life posts.

    Philipp Lenssen- I love your idea for blogs to be integrated more into the Google News site and a voting system to grab the most popular and relevant news for searchers.

    Also, what about a “Twitt-This”-like feature for newly acquired Jaiku on news.

  102. Expand time, Im same as you Matt, I love information and keeping up with everything on a daily basis can burn you out. If you can organise your unread bits into a new folder o be able to browse through over the weeks then that would be just swell.

    Great Outfit for Halloween too.

  103. I think that receiving suggestions about related feeds that I would be interested i based on the previous ones I have read would be a great Google Reader Feature. Any tool that helps you access more of the things that you are interested in is a must!

  104. How about PRINTING, e.g. single posts or complete folders? (“Print all Articles tagged ‘Analytics'”) ๐Ÿ˜‰

  105. Andrew, I totally agree with you, and it is the only feature I would ask but I think it was not clear what you were referring to.

    The problem is not in in Google Reader but in its iGoogle gadget.
    You see something that looks interesting, you click it and it is a 3 pages article. You would like to read it but you don’t have time right now.

    All we need is a “mark unread” button in the popup.

  106. Matt, what’s up with this post showing as new in my reader almost every day?

  107. My dream feature would be similar to one which has been mentioned a couple of times above.

    Essentially it would be a page, sepearate from the main ‘river of news’, which presents a Techmeme style aggregation of similar posts, so that for example, when TechCruch, Mashable, Scobel, Read/Write Web et al all blog about the same thing, as they are so prone to do, I can get a top level view of the ‘story’ from which ever blog first broke the story or has the strongest coverage and can choose to drill down in to further coverage/view points if I’m interested.

    I frequently find myself ‘j-ing’ past these redundant posts, so this would make my life a little easier.

  108. Thanks Matt for asking us!
    Some filter options can be added, and if I share an item, include my tags in the shared feed.

  109. The drag and drop idea is kinda cool.. i love igoogle btw..

    oh and on halloween hard to believe you walked around all night witha cheeseburger and didnt eat it.. ;/

    lol no way have scarfed that down 1st thing ๐Ÿ˜›

  110. i think that 100 feeds are way to much, unless you just have alot of time on your hands and you enjoying reading, i am reading about 1o aday

  111. I really would like to see a “mark as read” button.

  112. I use Feedblitz and subscribe by email. I’m a Gen-X slacker and I always check my email so for me subscribing via Feedblitz email is my de-facto.

  113. I really miss offline feed reading.
    Otherwise Google Reader is a great tool!

  114. If different feeds report news pointing to the same url, I’d like to see this marked in some way…

  115. Rumble,

    That’s a brilliant idea – it couldn’t be that difficult to aggregate the information and “authority” of a piece, to save readers time in sifting through various articles on the same topic.

    And I completely support the idea of adding Google News – or making Google News more interactive/ commentable. (is that a word?)

    It seems like all the mechanisms are in place to implement your list of ideas, Matt. Now, we’ll just have to wait and see if Google picks up on them and makes our lives a little easier. Great ideas.

    I just played the Google Market Cap game (which wasn’t much of a game (๐Ÿ˜‰ but it made me wonder how much longer Google will be able to keep up with it’s insanely prolific nature.

    Because, it seems to me, everytime I’ve sort of thought – “hey, it’d be cool if Google did ___________” it would happen in a few months time. And I feel pretty strongly that some of your ideas will probably become realities in the near future. But I just can’t help but wonder how long one organization can sustain this growth (it’s been like %50 a year). Anyway. Dunno, maybe if the current employees get tired of innovation, they’ll pick up you Matt. We’ll see.

  116. It would be nice if I could read the results of your poll from within the Google reader instead of getting a rss feed subscribe page.

  117. Hi, I really would like to see related posts in google reader, but tags are already very usefull.

  118. Definitely the feed suggestion tool. Although I know most of the best Web design/SEO feeds to read I’m always on the lookout for more small business / entrepreneur feeds as that is my niche.

  119. Hi Matt, Not sure if anyone has mentioned this before but if they can intergrate the READER with BOOKMARKS this would corner the market I believe. This is the biggest problem I have because I have over 2500 bookmarks and 1000 feed subscriptions.

    I don;t know which ones I have duplicates for etc. If you could somehow check your bookmarks for duplicates and mark them with a tag or something. And also just to have them lined up on the same left bar sort of like notebook. Thanks

  120. I want someone (or something) to do a fantastic job of editing all of my previous day’s feeds and then, over night, have these printed out in a beautiful (paper-back?) book form so that in the morning I can just grab my lovely new book and happily enjoy flicking through it on my way to work/at work/on my way home/at home. At night time I can then either keep the book (where it will add to my increasingly well-insulated house) or have it efficiently recycled into my next day’s copy…

    …and I want it NOW ๐Ÿ˜‰

  121. I wish you could increase the frequency of Google Reader polling sites. Sites like Steep and Cheap or ChainLove update too frequently and entries get missed.

  122. I want to turn off the “trends” spyware feature. I have no use for this data and I can’t think of any legitimate reason why anyone else should have it. This is a prime example of Google’s insensitivity to online privacy.