We talk RSS and FlowReader with iCollege co-founder and web expert Petr Koubský.
1) Is RSS an essential part of your daily routine?
Indeed it is. I can’t imagine my everyday work without RSS.
2) In a recent article on ihned.cz, you mentioned that FlowReader is one of your top Google Reader alternatives. What exactly stands out to you about our service?
First of all, it’s easy to use and the design is very nice, which is really important to me. You don’t want to spend a whole lot of your time each day in an ugly application. I also like that it’s web-based because I can switch devices. Although the integration of social media is not essential for me at this point, it’s a very good idea.
3) If you were going to switch to FlowReader full-time, how would it fit in with your every day working objectives?
My daily routine includes a quick scan of titles and summaries from all my RSS feeds. Whatever interests me the most either goes to Instapaper so I can read the full text later on, or gets sent to Evernote so it can be kept forever in my personal knowledge base. FlowReader fits well with this workflow, however the process could still be improved upon.
4) What do you think are some of the general difficulties and challenges that all RSS readers face?
A business model :). I believe that it’s really hard to make any money at all from an RSS reader, which is also the rationale behind Google’s decision to retire Reader. There’s a community of professionals, like me, who are willing to pay a modest fee in order to use a good RSS tool, but I’m not sure it’s enough to keep a project alive long-term. (BTW, good luck!)
5) How do you think we could improve FlowReader? What features would you like to see added?
I think FlowReader would benefit from an easier sharing process to other services like Instapaper and Evernote. Basically, I mean one-click sharing without any intermediate pages being opened. And, perhaps, a mobile app.
6) What’s your favorite feed to read and why?
To be honest, no one in particular. In general, the feeds in my RSS reader are all feeds that I need and work with, so I don’t have any favorites. Currently, I follow about 300 of them.
Petr Koubský is a freelance writer, teacher, and public speaker. He collaborates and works with iCollege, TBN, and University of Economics in Prague (VŠE). He publishes a web magazine 067 based entirely on a paid content business model, which is either going to become a blockbuster or a very laborious form of bankruptcy. You can find his tweets @petrkou.