Jan 13

NewsBlur: Feed Reader with Artificial Intelligence

Every two to three years I start a new project. Having recently completed the SunRayLab blog, I turned to another problem that I have been having since i started visiting blogs and other sites through the lens of my RSS feed reader, NetNewsWire.

I am starting a new project called NewsBlur. NewsBlur is an RSS feed reader with intelligence. See NewsBlur in action.

My problem is simple: I subscribe to a few dozen blogs. I do not want to read all of their many stories, yet my unread count keeps climbing. Some blogs post frequently while other blogs post once a month. I want a feed reader that easily trims the undesirable fat from my feeds.

This has been done in varying degrees before, but each implementation has been lacking for any number of reasons:
  1. The reading interface was convulted, slow, difficult, too busy, or rough.
  2. The intelligence used to pare down my feeds to just what I want was either difficult to setup, hard to train, overly-burdensome, or even just plain stupid.
  3. Marking feeds and stories as typical of what I want in the future has never been done.
I am solving this problem in a unique way.

The challenge in creating an interesting experience that is different from any other experience is what drives me to work on NewsBlur. I want a service that works for me. I expect that before I finish, I will already have abandoned my tried-and-true NetNewsWire (on both Mac OS and iPhone) in favor of NewsBlur.

I will use this blog space as a means to communicate advances in NewsBlur, as well as methodologies, practices, and thoughts behind the creation of NewsBlur.

My hope is that NewsBlur becomes part of a community that further enhances the news and blog reading experience for everybody.


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Samuel Clay is the founder of NewsBlur, a personal RSS news reader for web, iOS, and Android. He is also the founder of Turn Touch, beautiful control for your smart home.

He lives in San Francisco, California. In another life in New York, he worked at the New York Times on DocumentCloud, an open-source repository of primary source documents contributed by journalists.

You can read about his past and present projects at samuelclay.com.

Follow @samuelclay on Twitter.

You can email Samuel at samuel@ofbrooklyn.com. He loves receiving email from new people. Who doesn't?