After Google announced the EOL of Google Reader, it didn't take Digg much time to throw their hat in the ring and announce they were working on a replacement for the venerable feed reader.
Digg didn't share much in the way of details, and really their announcement was more of a statement of intent than anything, but today they revealed a few new details. Well, they didn't reveal details about the service/app so much as explain the path they plan to take towards developing it:
Over 800 comments were left on last week’s blog post. That’s more than we received when we told the world we were rebuilding Digg itself. It’s also proof that Google Reader users (and RSS devotees in general) are rabid information addicts with strong opinions. We’re truly grateful for the input.
After combing through all 800 comments, here are 4 points that seemed to recur, and loudly:
- Keep it simple, stupid*
- Make it fast (like, really fast)
- Synchronize across devices
- Make it easy to import from existing Google Reader accounts
The Digg team is also thinking about how they might expand upon Google Reader and offer users a better way to organize the news they might read on social networks and news aggregation sites like like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Reddit, LinkedIn, or Hacker News. Digg describes these sites as "increasingly important, but difficult to surface and organize".
That makes them useful addition to a news reader app, but TBH I'm not sure why they would include Tumblr or Twitter in that list. The RSS feeds for Tumblr blogs have always seemed to work well for me in Google Reader, so I'm not sure why they would present a difficulty. Also, the main issue with Twitter as a news source is that Twitter hides tweets and that Twitter is hostile to developers, so I don't see what an external developer will be able to do to fix the problems.
As pleasing as Digg's post may be to read, I'm not going to get excited until they start showing off screenshots and at least hint about a closed beta. It's one thing to talk big but another to actually produce.
Right now Feedly is also talking up what they want to do to support news junkies by making their news reader more functional and less pretty. But they haven't produced anything so far.