Raw Thought

by Aaron Swartz

Introducing feeds.reddit

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been working on another new project. I think it’s finally time to tell people about it and what better place to start then here? So here’s the site:


The idea is that it’s a more social web feed (RSS) reader. First, it’s got a great interface for reading feeds over the Internet — it has key commands (see the faq) that let you easily breeze through stories while keeping track of what you’ve read and haven’t read. Then there’s a simple URL you can go to any time, anywhere (I visit it from my phone) to see stories you haven’t read yet.

Second, just like on reddit, you can vote on items you like a lot. This will go towards creating a list of the most popular items but it will also train a recommendations system to try to find other items and other feeds that you’ll probably like as well.

The problem is that building this stuff up requires users. So I hope you’ll try it out. It’s got one-click import from Bloglines and imports OPML files from any other feed reader, so there’s no harm in trying it out.

Let me know what you think.

You should follow me on twitter here.

May 24, 2006


Trying it out now.

The Bloglines importer didn’t like me. (I’m subscribed to 854 feeds in Bloglines.)

posted by Edward O'Connor on May 24, 2006 #

It got a good ways through my Bloglines import (maybe 50 or so imported) and then choked with a 500 error. The URL when it died was:


Don’t know if that is helpful at all….

posted by Mike on May 24, 2006 #

It doesn’t like RSS feeds from delicious: http://del.icio.us/rss/corvina

posted by Mike Gray on May 24, 2006 #

A second try is yeilding much better results, though, as Mike noted, del.icio.us feeds seem to be problematic.

posted by Edward O'Connor on May 24, 2006 #

The problem with delicious feeds is that their robots.txt file actually bans us from visiting them. I’ve emailed them to suggest they fix it.

posted by Aaron Swartz on May 24, 2006 #

I managed to get my google reader opml subscriptions imported, but got a bunch ‘not found’ which are perfectly valid feeds and don’t seem to have a robots.txt problem. Also, do you log the one’s that can’t be parsed to see if any of those can be handled?

posted by Adam Wendt on May 24, 2006 #

  • It doesn’t work with a very random sample of my feeds.
  • It doesn’t handle authentication for feeds at all, it seems.
  • The interface on ‘mine’ seems confusing, I really don’t get it.
  • I like the subtle, clean design/layout, though.

posted by Manuzhai on May 25, 2006 #

A few observations … Importing XML is painfully slow. The grouping of feeds (from a bloglines XML) is ignored. It would be nice if you could bulk edit the feeds, so you could, for example, delete all of them at once. Deleting individually is prohibitively slow.

More generally, I would be interested in using a feed reader that allows me to structure feeds so that I can read them in the order I wish, like bloglines. The Google reader style interface that tries to predict what I’d like to read next is IMHO wrong headed. I’m surprised and disappointed that Google got it so wrong, maybe it’s something that reddit can do right …

The order I read feeds is not something that a program could predict unless it gets a direct line to my gray matter. I need a way to get a quick overview of all my feeds, and all the unread articles that are in them, then I choose how to start browsing. I might, for example see an article header that is very interesting to me, and then purposefully ignore it for a week because I know that when I read it I want to give it the attention it deserves, not just scan it and blow it away. This sort of thing is going to wreak havoc with readers that feed things up to me in algorithmically sorted orders. However, I can imagine marking articles up and down when I read them so that they can feed back into reddit proper.

posted by Drew Whitehouse on May 25, 2006 #

I would like to have multiple fields to import feeds. Right now I have to import one, then see that load, click on import and so on. I’m on a dialup, so it’s extra annoying. When attaching files in gmail you can click attach another file and a new field appers without reloading the page.

Anyway, it seems sweet!

posted by RN on May 28, 2006 #

Ahh!! feeds.reddit isn’t working. :-( This makes me sad. When will it be back up?

posted by Kyle Mulka on June 18, 2007 #

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