Friday, November 11, 2005

Google RSS Reader. Putting the Ewh in Google

It just took a look at the Google RSS reader beta. To borrow a line from In Living Color, "Hated It".

I'm not sure that Google does great interfaces. They have great technology and their own sense of style but beyond search, I'm unimpressed with their UI's. I'm more impressed with gmail's spam filters than with it's interface and MSN's desktop search beats Google's desktop search interface hands down. They get some of the subtleties like single line entry for maps, but miss the bigger pieces, like the fact that deleting in Gmail is a pain.

Google's RSS reader doesn't fit the way I read blogs AT ALL. I'm having trouble finding the words to express how un-intuitive I find it. To be fair, I tried importing my Bloglines subscriptions. It says they imported and I saw one story from Yahoo!. After that, nothing. I can't see individual feeds that I added by hand either. And you can "Star" an item. What up with Google and stars? Is this kindergarten that I need gold stars for posts? Microsoft would get skewered for a product like this, even in beta.

Am I mollified by the fact that this is beta? Nope. Google changed the rules when they rolled gmail out and left it in perpetual beta. We now don't expect Google to move things from beta. Ever. The term beta is meaningless for them.

Let's review:

Out of Beta - Google Search, Image Search, Local Search, Special Search, Toolbar, Desktop, Blogger (purchased) and Picassa (Purchased), Alerts, Answers, Maps.

In Beta - Google News, Blog Search, Catalogs, Froogle, Labs (by definition), Scholar, Print, SMS, University Search, Earth, Gmail, Talk, RSS.

There are six primary links to Google products on the main search page. 1/2 are beta products.

Perhaps I'm just irritated at Google. There seems to be this perception lately that if Google does it, that must be the right way. But beyond search, I'm not convinced.

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