Italian IA Summit

I never really had time to post a follow-up post to the Italian IA Summit, so here are some quick thoughts.

  1. They managed to make it a free event, and there were lots of people. Free is good.
  2. UX and IA are happening in Italy, there are half a dozen small companies doing it, it seems.
  3. On the other hand, traditional clients have no idea what IA and UX mean.
  4. The Italians are great hosts.

I wish I had time to write a more extensive post.

Yey: “The fields were deserted from Flanders to Provence. Villages and even
small towns were silent, with barely a column of smoke to reveal a
human presence. As soon as the weather turned cold, people all over
France shut themselves away and practiced the forgotten art of doing
nothing at all for months on end.”

Forgotten art indeed!

Who is working on a new feedreader?

What would a better feedreader be like?

  1. It would help me find new feeds. I mean, really help me.
  2. It would be social: I could easily find which feeds my friends are subscribed to (publicly) and such.
  3. It would let me manage my feeds better.
  4. It might support commenting and discussion in some smart way, without taking the discussion away from the sources.

Of course, the barriers to entry in the feedreader space are huge. Entrenched market leaders. Huge scalability challenges for newcomers.
And of course, the only real way to move into that space is probably to do something very different from the current feedreaders. But they are good. Just not good enough.

How My Bloglines is broken.

Note I still call it “my bloglines”. That’s because I love my Bloglines. I find Google Reader impossible to use – literally. I tried, 3 times already, a few days each time. Can’t do it. It’s too slow (simple things like scrolling get stuck, which is strange, because Gmail works fine for me), and doesn’t want to mark a feed as “read” once I click it. I hate that.


Bloglines is broken and has been for a few weeks now. All my feeds (almost) show a count of 200 new items, like in the picture below, every day, even though many of them have NO new items, some only have a few. Help Bloglines!


The Breaking Of The Feedreaders

OK I am not alone: “unfortunately the way Google Reader works is that it forces you to look
at every single post, so if you have feeds that are very frequently
updates, Google Reader is not great at letting you simply skim through
them quickly. Almost immediately, my Google Reader account was
overwhelmed with thousands of unread posts, and it felt completely out
of control. I abandoned it, as I suspect many other people did who went
through the same experience.”

This is SOOO broken. My basic interaction with my feedreader is:

  • Scan the bold feed titles to see where there’s something new.
  • Click on a few feeds and scan their posts. Now these feeds are “read” and are not bold anymore.
  • Rinse and repeat.

Call me crazy. Is this just me? Isn’t this how feedreaders should work? So why is Bloglines broken (the bolding of the feeds is broken), and why does Google Reader just doesn’t want to do this (if I click a feed, the feed still shows bold, as if I didn’t read it.)?


Even though Bloglines plain old broke on me, Google Reader is totally pissing me off. It’s too SLOW, and doesn’t work smoothly, and my main problem with it continues: once I’ve clicked a feed and read the posts, it doesn’t unbold that feed. Seems like a bug to me – in any case, I find it almost unusable. Is it just me?