Integrated RSS reader (beta)

Integrated RSS reader (beta)

After last weeks introduction of start.me/channels, we continued our work in the news feeds department. This week, we introduce the first beta version of our integrated feed reader! We know a lot of users have been waiting for this new feature, so we chose to share it with you early on in the process of its development. With the integrated RSS feed reader, you can dive a little deeper into the headlines you find in start.me/channels. It is not just a thing for channels, however: it works on your personal pages as well!

Not an ordinary RSS reader

As we are well aware a lot of great RSS readers are already out there, we chose not to try and compete with those great product, but rather choose our own course and create a feed reader that integrates really nicely into a personal start page. So what we did is both simple and elegant: every news feed widget you find, including the ones you created yourself, now features a new -button in its header. Clicking this Expand button opens the integrated feed reader, displaying all articles in the widget!

Switching views

Our integrated RSS reader has two different view modes you can choose from, allowing you to group articles by feed or see them as separate items. In start.me/channels, the default view shows feeds, but by clicking the -button on the right side of the navigation bar, you can easily switch to the articles view, giving you a beautiful and very practical chronological overview of all news in a specific channel.

Beta, so we need feedback!

As this feature is still very young, we currently consider the integrated feed reader experimental. To see what we can improve, we would like to ask you for your feedback. Do you like the feed reader? What features would you like to see added? Let us know: support@start.me.

Michiel de Wit

Michiel de Wit

Michiel is CGO and co-founder of start.me. He is a software professional with a lot of experience in developing enterprise grade web applications. He is a certified Scrum Master and a great proponent of modern software development practices.


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13 Replies to “Integrated RSS reader (beta)”

  1. My feed reader hasn’t been working properly for months. When set to:

    http://www.dedoimedo.com/rss_feed.xml

    I get feeds that are weeks old, and they all say 22 hours ago. With the new integrated reader I get a whole page of old feeds, and every one of them says 22 hours ago.

    Using feeds from the ‘Awesome New Tab Page’ in Chrome, the feed from this site is current.

    1. Hi Bruce! Thank you for pointing out the problem with the Dedoimedo feed. The problem actually is in the RSS feed Dedoimedo provides. This feed contains no timestamps, which makes it really hard to sort articles in the proper order. We have made some adjustments to our feed reader to better handle feeds like this. Please take a look at http://www.start.me/f/3K1kBZ/dedoimedo-rss.articles and see if the feed output has improved.

  2. I love it !!! being able to expand my RSS feeds is soooooo awesome keep up the good work I love my Start.me page ..not sure what I’d do … I have been using custom home pages for over 9 years but Start.me is by far my favorite I have ever used …. some kind of music widget that would support pandora or something similar would be nice ..HINT HINT…lol

  3. The expanded feed reader view is really well designed.
    Articles are compact yet easy to read, and somehow you’ve managed the trick of including just enough white space to make everything look clean and roomy… slick!

    No technical problems to report so far.

    Thank you all SO much for your hard work.

  4. Normally I hate when you guys mess with stuff but in this case I approve! It doesn’t change the appearance of my page unless I want it to. This is a feature that I will actually use everyday.

    Thanks
    Gene

  5. I’m on chrome, when I go to sign in it says, I sign into g-mail/google, click on the start.me shortcut I have on the bookmark bar and it takes me to “this page is forbidden” or some such, but if I click “go to homepage” or something like that, at the bottom, it goes to my homepage. So all is fine, ‘kinda.

    The calendar recently does not have dates I’ve entered. Like, if I had something this weekend and I entered it on the google calendar, it does not appear on my start me homepage anymore.

    I tried the app for start.me, but whenever I open a new tab it automatically goes to start.me and this slows down my next tab activity. Maybe I need to just use the start.me search at the top, but still.

    Generally I really love having a homepage with my stuff on it though and really enjoy using your product.

    Thanks again!

    Mike

    1. Hi Mike,

      Thank you for your feedback.

      – The link in the shortcut most likely goes to the wrong URL. Can you make sure you set this URL to http://www.start.me? This will always open up your start page.
      – Today we released a new calendar widget. You can find the new widget if you click “+Widget” (in top) and select “Calendar”. Hopefully this new widget solves your issue.
      – If you have the Chrome extension installed, but do not want start.me to open-up as start page, you can change this in the Extension options. Right mouse click on the extension icon, select “Options” and uncheck “Open start.me as my new tab”.

      If any other questions, please e-mail us at support@start.me.

      Best regards,
      Luuk

  6. Hi Michiel 🙂

    I’m still looking for a way to add a slideshow of my favorite images from Pinterest or Flickr. So I was getting my hopes up with the new RSS feed tool. I didn’t find a method yet. Is there any chance you might me developing such a feature in the near future?

    Best wishes!

    Jeoen

  7. I have the same problem as Bruce – feeds from Comicsyndicate show as 17 days old and have not updated at all since you made the changes. If I click into the integrated reader I see a mass of old feeds all listed 17 days ago. Nothing since June 15 will appear.
    Please fix this.

  8. You have been my favorite startpage and you still are, although I don’t like a lot of the design improvements. Nevertheless this feature is really awesome!! It’s really innovative and a lot of fun.
    BUT I don’t get pictures for most of my expanded RSS feeds although there have been thumbnails in the normal RSS feed (Bild.de, Frankfurter Allgemeine, Google News). It worked out for a few RSS feeds though.
    Oh and when click on one of the RSS sources in my expanded RSS feed like Bild.de, the tabs of the expanded RSS feed change to all of the RSS soruces Bild.de offers and doesn’t show the ones I had in my RSS feed. It’s a great bug/feature, but it would also be nice to have the possibility to go back to your choice of RSS feeds.

    Thanks.
    Best regards

    1. Thank you for the feedback. The news reader still needs improvements and we actually are working on that. About the pictures: our system tries to estimate the quality of the images in RSS feeds and adapts to that. Perhaps the images are too small?

  9. I don’t know if you still follow the discussion, but if so, I write here before sending an email, so that others can see it later.
    RSS readers are great, but I really need a way to mark the news as read other then actually opening them, I mostly just want to read the headlines. It would be great to be able to mark as read both in bulk for the whole feed, and for individual news. And also mark individual news as unread, but that’s slightly less important. Not necessary, though probably welcome, would be a counter of unread. If this is made possible, I’ll leave netvibes for good and not look back, in other ways you’re simply much better.
    I’d also like to ask how often are the feeds checked and if there’s a way I can influence it (refresh doesn’t help), since some feeds providing news publish a lot and I sometimes still see hours old headlines on top.
    Thank you.

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