Blogonomics: An RSS Wish List

Tyler Cowen asks:

What feature in an RSS reader do you not have but long for? What would cause you to switch from one reader to another? Would you ever consider a reader that forced ads on you, bundled up with the delivered post?

The one feature I long for more than anything else is a smart RSS reader which knows when a link is to another blog for which the full feed has already been downloaded. Then when I click on that link, instead of being transported out of the newsreader and into a web browser, I should be able to opt to stay within the newsreader, and just get transported over to the other news feed. Then I can navigate between blog entries in a news reader, using standard forward and back buttons, just like we normally navigate between blogs in a web browser.

That feature would certainly cause me to switch. It would also be nice if I could have a dynamic search of blog entries which link to me. I get something similar from Google Blog Search, but that doesn’t send me to the actual entries of blogs in my newsreader already.

My dream feature, of course, would be an RSS reader which automagically downloaded the full content of blogs with truncated feeds, but that would probably be illegal.

I have seen a few ads in RSS feeds, not many; I’ve never minded them.

I will admit to being something of an extreme RSS user; I have about 450 subscriptions and add more every week. Recently, I’ve even started hand-building my own, which is about as geeky as I’ve ever gotten. But I love the speed and ease-of-use of RSS, and I really don’t know how I could ever go back to web surfing as a way of getting information. It’s so slow!

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