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Using Gmail As Feed Reader  (View post)

Mark O'Neill [PersonRank 1]

Friday, February 1, 2008
12 years ago5,120 views

I fail to see the point of this. What's wrong with Google Reader?

I have tried out two RSS-email services in the past. RSSfwd and ZapTXT. Both worked well but I just never got into checking blog feeds inside Gmail. Google Reader just seems so much easier.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

> I fail to see the point of this. What's wrong
> with Google Reader?

Nothing in specific, except this way saves me to check two separate tools. (I log-in to Gmail anyway to check for news/ updates/ messages, so this sort of merges the two.)

/pd [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Phillipp,I do exactly the same thing.. with gmail.

The only difference is, on my Google Side Bar, web clips I keep adding and deleteing RSS feeds . This means, when I manually visit a site, GDS is auto updated with RSS From that site/blog.

Once a week I kinda prune it.so that my river of news keeps being fresh.

==>I fail to see the point of this. What's wrong with Google Reader?>>

I literally only have one dashboard happening for all my collection points- blogs/groups/emails/comments etc. and I can directly post to my blogs from gmail too..

Project Matt [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

I simply put together a script that pulls feeds from my Google Reader account and prints them to the nearest FedEx Kinkos. From there they are delivered (same day, of course) to my personal imaging center where each post is scanned and emailed as a PDF file to my auxiliary gmail account.

I then have a rule set on my auxilary gmail account to forward all feeds to my primary gmail account where they are read by a third party and sent to my phone as a voicemail.

Lubsy [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

RSSfwd is great because they have an option to change the subject of the email to the date, i.e. "Lifehacker tip 2/1/2008." What this does in Gmail of course, is group all the posts from one day into a single conversation, acting as a River of News.

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

What I see on your screenshot is not "reading feeds". It's "reading titles", it's a big difference.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Tom, the screenshot only shows the feed post's title but when you click on it, you will see the feed post's content... so that's a way of reading feeds. But definitely, your taste for feed reading may differ and this solution may be bad for certain needs, e.g. if you prefer river of news style layout for feed reading! I think the Gmail approach works best if you don't want to read every single post, but just some of them, so then the title – or if you switch Gmail to show the first snippet as well in the title (it's default, but I turned it off) – is a good indicator for that.

Aquariumdrinker [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

Having your own server pull new items and send them as email sounds particularly good for feeds that may not be polled frequently by Reader but for which you want to know about changes ASAP. Care to share the script?

Art-One [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Something else: I see you have a visual progress bar of your storage meter. Is that a Grease Monkey? I don't have that....

My Yahoo! [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

I just use My Yahoo! modules – you can add their content or your own RSS feeds manually – but at the very least I may have to give Google Reader a try

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

[put at-character here]Philipp : Well, you are right, we haven't the same "taste for feed reading". That's why I can't use this solution, just as I can't use Netvibes, Firefox live bookmarks or things like that. Google Reader is still the best offer for me, in "river of news" mode ;-)

Anyway, do you use a specific e-mail address to filter feeds (to attach them with a label) or have you created filters rules via Gmail?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Tom, I'm using the keyphrase "[Google's Blogs]" in each subject line, so that way I can filter it. (And "[Tracker]" for change-alerts on non-RSS pages.)

Aquariumdrinker, I'm using a Cronjob which triggers a PHP5 script, which saves posts to the MySQL database and also mails out posts. The script originated with fortyfaces.com so there's a lot of overhead in it as that site had a bit of a different purpose, plus the same script is used to generate /google/ on this server. Now if you just want the feed reader function, there's a caveat as well: I wasn't able to use the MagpieRSS library anymore because it broke on various of the ever-changing Google feed formats, so now I'm using PHP's native XML for feed reading, which created the following odd function with lots of workarounds since PHP's XML is broken – so you should only really use if you can't find anything better, basically it's optimized to work with Google's feeds and not really much else: blogoscoped.com/files/rss-pars ...

Aquariumdrinker [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

Gotcha. Even if it turns out to just be a starting point, it will be greatly appreciated. Thanks also for the great idea!

Niraj Sanghvi [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

I'm doing something very similar with PHP/MySQL/Cronjobs:

nirajsanghvi.com/google_check_ ...

And it will be useful even if Google Reader adds the ability to email new stories, just because it's always more timely. The additional benefit of using Gmail is via either the Gmail Notifier or POP/IMAP, you can get pushed notification of new stories which you wouldn't get otherwise.

prop [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

Wow!! 16 GB Gmail total size!!

Zim [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Hey, it's a cute idea!

PHP Programmer [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

I do the exact same thing. Just not the "certain feeds every 5 minutes" part. Make sure that you do not hit each feed too often and if you do, make sure your script can use the IF_MODIFIED_SINCE header.

Henning [PersonRank 3]

12 years ago #

I also fail to see the point of this: Google Reader maybe another tool to check, but it's even the same login – so if You're logged in to GMail, Google Reader is exactly one click away (You also need one click to select your "tracker" label for displaying – so the effort needed on your side is the same). Oh, and feeds in Google Reader don't take up any space in your GMail account... ;-)

What I would like to see is a script which polls websites and makes an ATOM-Feed (or RSS) of any changes detected. That way Google Reader would really become the "inbox for the web" which Google is promising.

Feedwhip.com has such kind of service but to me it seems very half-baked and unstable at times. So I'd rather host such a thing myself, but I haven't found a tool for that yet.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

> You also need one click to select your "tracker" label
> for displaying – so the effort needed on your side is the same

Not really – because in Gmail I will know before clicking whether or not there's new items (because the label will read e.g. "Tracker (2)" in bold when there's two new items, but it will read "Tracker" in non-bold when nothing's new).

Peter P. [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

A very nice free service for RSS-to-email monitoring is TheWebWatcher. It pulls the new RSS items and sends them to e-mail. The main idea of the service is to watch Web pages for changes, but they support RSS watching.

The alert messages are marked with [TheWebWatcher.com] in the Subject line, so I filter them in my track folder easily.

Stephan Locher [PersonRank 9]

12 years ago #

Actually I'm completly happy with Google Reader the only thing which bothers me(About once a day in the morning ;-)) is that the navigation item in Gmail to Reader. When logged in to Gmail I have to click on more and then scroll almost all the way down to Reader. I can't understand why Google isn't able to see that most of the time I use this link and then change the order of the navigational items. At first I thought they want me do see all the other products(Some kind of hidden advertising) but since several months I don't notice if something changes there because my mouse movement is almost an automatism...

But I understand Philipps approach for the often checked sites, it's nice to get a mail if something changes, like Google News alerts.

Jeremy Bensley [PersonRank 0]

12 years ago #

I actually use this approach to read protected content blogs as a complement to Google Reader. A cronjob using rss2email (rss2email.infogami.com/) pulls down the feeds and emails updates every 15 minutes or so. Prior to Google Reader, this was how I read all of my feeds.

Motti [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Yahoo Pipes can email feeds too and it's easy to splice, dice & filter the feed content first. No need to hack a script together on your machine.

The emails arrive with the subject "Y! Alert: <pipe title>" so get properly threaded in GMail.

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

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