Last week, I blogged about how the RSS reading experience in feed readers is lacking because we’re deprived of the full visual experience of actually being at a web destination. In a feed reader, we get just the filtered content without the look and feel of the source.
So I got to thinkin’, since Google Reader (or any feed reader for that matter), knows what I’ve read and I what I haven’t, and knows the title & description of the feed entries, it could easily dice up the DOM of the originating site and inject the titles and descriptions coming in off the feed into the original page.
Below is a concept screenshot. Notice it’s the usual Google Reader trimmings but the actual content view is swapped out with Brand Spanking New’s actual look and feel. Note also that the three “read” entries are collapsed and slightly faded below the unread entry:
There are other issues that arise out of this approach (e.g. single entry-per-page blogs) but I’d be very curious to experience something like this – a sort of hybrid web browsing/feed reading experience.
An alternative approach would be to look for some sort of codified hinting to feed readers of what to do with their content – something like a referenced CSS embedded in the feed XML. It would be important to constrain what can be done – things like colors, fonts, better logo handling, but not much more. A feed reader could then spice itself up slightly as we navigate from source to source.