Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Et Tu, Google?

Google was recently granted a patent on personalized newspapers. Until now, I have been having the market all to my self with FeedJournal, but I welcome the competition. A player like Google can really help to boost the awareness for these kinds of solutions. Yes, I am one person, and Google is somewhat larger than that. But still, I think it is a good sign that FeedJournal-like sites start to pop up. It will increase multitude, and the competition will help to drive the projects forward and prevent stagnation. In the end, users will gain by having better products.

The granting of the patent seems somewhat dubious to me, considering that FeedJournal has been alive and kicking for a long time. The patent could have been a good requirements specification document for FeedJournal.

I am obviously very curious to see where Google is going with this, if they decide to use the patent to build a product. Will they offer both a reader and a publisher version of their product? How will they integrate advertising? They definitely have big potential to integrate many of their existing services into a new solution.

But don’t worry! I’ll continue to put late hours into FeedJournal. Small operations like this one depend heavily on word-of-mouth, since time and resources don’t allow much else in the way of marketing. So please, any mentions of FeedJournal is greatly appreciated. I am grateful and indebted to my small but dedicated group of enthusiastic evangelizers (Joel, Simon, Mike, and many others), who helps me to build a better newspaper.


  1. Hey Jonas,

    Thanks for the Kudos.

    Keep up the good work!

    Check out your traffic stats:



  2. Asking for a patent on an idea that has been around since 1995 is pretty funny.

  3. Jonas,

    I opined about the very same thing in my blog when I read the news about Google's patent on TechCrunch. I'd really be interested in your thoughts on what I wrote about the situation in general, and about your site in specific.

    My TechCrunch comment was one of two to mention your site. Other comments referenced ShelfMade. A similar product that has not released either of its versions(consumer or blogger), unlike you.

    No one mentioned the article that Boris mentioned, but I will be sure to add something about it to my blog.

  4. I am following feedjournal for a long time and would be willing to be a gold user if only you could support UTF8 character encoding. I am the moderator of a turkish blog writers community and I pull all the RSS feeds of the blogs and then convert them to one opml file, after that I convert that into one single RSS file. As the last action I want to use feedjournal to display the most recent posts in the turkish blog community in a nice newspaper theme but Feedjournal doesn't support UTF8 encoding thus making some turkish characters missing in the pdf file. It would be great if you can support UTF8 encoding.

    Also displaying links and even embedded videos would be just great. (Not sure if you can do that in adobe pdf format)

  5. shaudius: That's a great post on your blog, thanks for notifying me about it. Please send me your e-mail address and I'll notify you when our private alpha/beta version of the reader will be available!

  6. Mert Ulaş: Please send me a link by e-mail to a sample feed where characters are not displayed properly and I'll fix it.

    I am working on an implementation for adding hyperlinks as footnotes to the end of the page or paper. Videos will be difficult to print, and I would be surprised if the PDF format supports that... :-)