It’s getting late and I’ve been out most of the evening, so haven’t had much of a chance to play with an idea that’s been in my head for a few days…
There’s been a lot of talk recently about the state of online feed readers, with TechCrunch doing a fairly comprehensive overview, and following it up in their latest podcast on TalkCrunch. I can’t quite get my head around those managing subscriptions to 200-300 blogs, that just seems like information overload and I don’t even know of that many blogs I’d be interested in, so Mozilla Thunderbird has served me well for a year or more now.
But, it would be nice to have some way to view all the same feeds via the web at work or wherever I find myself and have that synchronised back to Thunderbird when I get home. Go on, someone please name a web-based feed reader currently offers this. I couldn’t find any, only for Outlook/Outlook Express.
So, have had a quick play with Gregarius on my test server as is looking quite impressive. After exporting my OPML feed from Thunderbird and giving Gregarius a while to import them all, I now have a web-based system for managing and viewing all my feeds. The OPML import worked way better than expected, categorising all my feeds into the correct folders, and nicely displaying favicons where available. Doesn’t quite render the HTML as well as I would hope as it doesn’t read in any styling from the content provider, but that’s not really a problem at the moment. But, the nice features is being able to then access these feeds via RSS back into Thunderbird. Have tried it quickly with a couple of feeds and seems to work out the box – obviously Thunderbird won’t write back read message status to Gregarius, but any unread feeds from Gregarius are passed to Thunderbird for viewing. Thus, any feeds read via the web are not displayed in Thunderbird when I get home. Am sure it would be easy to write a quick script that lets me then set the status on all feeds to mark messages as read when closing Thunderbird.
Am sure I’ll find when I get a chance to go over things tomorrow when I’m not falling asleep I’ll run into some problems, but looks perfect right now! Will also see how quickly it runs when going across the web rather than my local system, and what kind of update interval Gregarius works on for pulling in new feeds. One minor issue will be adding new feeds as would need to add to Gregarius, grab the RSS feed from there, and import into Thunderbird, but not so much of a problem since I don’t often play around with my subscriptions.
Will see what tomorrow brings 🙂