Friday, December 09, 2005

Gmail Adds RSS Feeds

Today Gmail added an RSS feed headline to the top of the inbox in Gmail. Apparently some people already had it for a while, so I guess it came out of testing today. It is kind of interesting I guess. I found some interesting articles from its news sources I would not likely have seen otherwise. But really, it a very sneaky way to get users to view and maybe click on text ads. Occasionally they aren't "Web Clips," they are "Sponsored Links." They are clearly marked, but I found myself looking at them more than I look at the sidebar of targeted ads in Gmail's message views. Good job on that Google.

It comes with some default feed sources and you can select from a bunch of other major news and entertianment sites. You can also add custom feeds. I think I will stick to Google Lens for most of my feed reading. But for news and entertainment sites that I normally wouldn't read I think it will be interesting.

I guess I was a lucky few that had RSS feed enabled for a while. I just assumed everyone had it too. I actually found it to be annoying and distracting but I couldn't turn it off until just recently when they finally added on off button. They are sort of like a crawler on the bottom of cable news channels. I find them to be annoying too but unfortunately I can't turn those off.
You could always duck tape over the bottom part of your TV screen, but that seems like overkill.
In the end, I had to swtich my "Web Clips" off as well. I thought it was cool, but it's really another "gee whiz" feature of Gmail that looks and sounds cool, but doesn't add any functionality. Despite having virus protection, we still can't send executable attachments, the "change sender address" feature doesn't work properly and the interface is falling behind Yahoo daily.

I love Gmail and use it as my main account, but I'm likely to switch to Yahoo Plus whenever I gain access to its new Beta.

In the end, this was just another way to display more ads in Gmail and disguise it as a feature. It was cool, but over half of my clips were ads. Like you, it's Google's RSS Reader for me.

Just makes more sense.
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