What I’d like to see from Google Reader and Gmail

I love reading articles that make me want to do something. Today I was reading this post on ReadWriteWeb and it begged for me to participate. The question was, basically, “what new feature would you like to see in any Google product”.

I’m a Google fanboy, I admit, and the two apps that I can not live without are Gmail and Reader. These two products are often in two browser tabs anytime I’m at my machine. So, what I would like to see, or at least ponder a bit longer, is how could these two products be combined?

Take a second and go look at each one. They look REALLY REALLY similar, right? So, could something like this be what I need?

It’s not a full mockup, but you get the idea. Now, let’s take it a step further and really get to something I want. Post comments in Reader…

I think it would be great for Reader to be able to import comments, and lay them out in a fashion similar to how an email conversation in Gmail looks/works. I know this is not an easy task, but starting off with some of the major blogging engines, hmmm, perhaps Blogger at least, would be a start.

Imagine something like this:

I would love to see something like that. 🙂



  1. Hey, I saw your entry on RWW. I have been thinking this same thing for a long time. I even made a post about it a while ago (I don’t update the blog anymore). Hopefully someone at Google is working on this currently, and if not, maybe they will read this and be inspired!

  2. I, too, have wanted one inbox for a long time.

    Yahoo! Mail tried to do this in 2005, but their implementation was poor (see: http://farm1.static.flickr.com/20/68623656_cc82236259.jpg). They’ve since abandoned the project and the “all feeds” link is being removed from Yahoo! Mail inboxes.

    The one thing missing from your implementation is Google Reader’s ability to put feeds in folders/tree (Yahoo Mail had this, too). I currently subscribe to 208 feeds and find that I tend to read them by folders, rather than the “all feeds” setting. I’d like to see you do a mock-up adding this.

    I’m not sold on your second suggestion, regarding commenting, though I admittedly don’t use the commenting functionality built into Google Reader, prefering rather to comment directly on the originating site (as I’m doing now).

  3. alex..

    You already have 1000 posts a day in your “reader inbox”.. what difference does it make if it’s in the same tab as long as you can filter either inbox (and/or) feeds as dang suggests?..

    As for BJ’s folders, they’re called tags in gmail.. it’s just a matter of automatically tagging each incoming post, whith filters like you do with your inbox.

    Dang: I’m 100% pro! i’ve been dreaming of such a combined gmail+reader for a long time.. i hate to open gmail reader separately.. i actually also use thunderbird at work which gives me my rss feeds in the same window..
    The union of gmail and reader even seemed so obvious from the begining that i’ve been wondering what they’re waiting for… the whole purpose of rss is to treat information feeds just like incoming emails!..

  4. Joune..

    I understand, now, what you mean about the tags, and that’s an excellent solution… thanks.

    However, the feeds in my GReader are in “folders” by category/topic, with the feeds placed in them.

    With your label implementation, each feed… or category.. would need a label. In essence, I’d lose a choice I enjoy now: do I want to read an entire category’s feeds right now, or do I want to read just feeds from a specific source? Of course, with this solution, I could tag feeds with multiple labels (a category and the source, for example), but that would lead to a LONG list of labels…

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