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Show HN: kouio, the Reader you've always wanted (kouio.com)
49 points by stephen_mcd 1485 days ago | hide | past | web | 36 comments | favorite

First question i always have - what's the feed refresh frequency? For me (a journalist who needs keeps very close tabs on hundreds of sites), the only feed reader so far that's been of acceptable speed is Newsblur (i believe the refresh rate is 5 minutes), and I'd happily pay more for faster.

Love this question. It's 5 minutes to start with, but it gradually backs off based on a few things, like average time between the most recent items in the feed.

Also right now due to the HN rush our worker queue's a little backed up, but it'll catch up soon enough.

Thanks for the reply, will certainly check it out.

>[I'm] a journalist who needs keeps very close tabs on hundreds of sites [where news that is more than 5 minutes old is sometimes too old]

Your job would quickly make me crazy. I shudder to imagine my getting so up close and personal with the Great Firehose. Take care of yourself!

This product appears to be decently-executed, but the same can be said about most RSS readers. Frankly, this looks identical in both aesthetic and functionality to the dozens of other services that are attempting to supplant Reader. Feedly and Digg reader already offer this product for free. Fever, Feedspot et al. offer novel idiosyncrasies that cater to niche markets. (And "we want to be sustainable" is not a unique justification. There are a myriad of other services offering the same appeal.)

You've made a great product, but so has everyone else. Why is kouio unique, and why does it warrant $5 per month?

We want kouio to offer the absolute best experience for our users, without compromise. A small monthly fee will allow us to deliver a level of quality & dependability that a paying customer should expect. We've received a lot of really encouraging feedback so far from people who 'get' the motivation behind kouio, and can't wait to support us. Will the pricing be for everyone? Definitely not, but we're confident that our users won't be disappointed.

$5 isn't a small monthly fee, for a newsreader.

The closest thing to the reader I always wanted is Hackernews; a selection of significant, educational and relevant articles on topics I'm interested in.

Meanwhile RSS readers have done little, if anything, to figure out how not to waste my time "nexting" through stuff I have no time or interest in.

The entry point for any software in this field should be "how much time per day do you have to spend on reading feeds?"

For example medium.com has a brilliant little feature - labelling articles with the time it takes to read them e.g. "2 min read". Yes! More like this please.

If you're constantly getting content that you're not interested in, then you should unsubscribe from that feed.

There have been many attempts at trying to figure out what you'll like. They either try to recommend stuff that they think you'll like ("Oh, you like computers? Check out this cat at a computer that 2308234 people have reshared!" Ugh.) or filter out the stuff they think you won't like. That's not how I (or the majority of people that I have talked to about RSS) use RSS though! We want every single update, no matter how unpopular they were.

As for length, it's trivial to see a giant wall of text and either click next or mark as unread to return to it later. I've tried Google Reader's "magic" sorting, among other ways of sorting articles, but I always end up on "oldest first" or "newest first", depending on the content.

I disagree. I get far away from any RSS reader trying to put "intelligence" into my feed reading. There are indeed curated communities for that (choose your own poison, obviously, HN is one of those). But no amount of machine learning will agree with me (without counting the silo effect which the more you read the same thing, the more you get of the same instead of allowing you to bump into new stuff).

Don't forget that the content you find on HN has to come from somewhere. How do articles get here?

1) Either the content author posts it, or someone who follows the blog/website/whatever posts it.

2) Those who spend time reading /newest actually upvote posts enough to get them to the front page.

If you enjoy the front page of HN, that's great! But the process of getting there isn't exactly automatic -- it depends on those who dig through unfiltered content.

The closest thing to the reader I always wanted is Hackernews; a selection of significant, educational and relevant articles on topics I'm interested in.

This is a crowd sourced, human curated list, different from a feed reader, where the crowd consists mostly of humans competent in the field.

The problem of course is such crowds do not exist for so many other fields, but I would pay for good human curated content.

Alas, none of that is in any feedreader...

Feedly uses some algorithm to generate a "today" section of recommended items, which seems to work really well at least for me. I'm sure I'm missing some things, but similarly to yourself, I like to only spend a few minutes managing my feed. It's worth checking out to see if it works for you.

Looks really well designed! I added it to our list of reader alternatives here: https://starthq.com/apps/kouio

As a sidenote: I think it's quite ironic that your blog doesn't have an RSS feed. I noticed the same thing for some of the other alternatives we've listed.

Thanks a lot!

I guess it's a little embarrassing, but it's not actually a proper blog - just a static page. We've just been too focused on polishing the app itself to worry about that :-)

Makes sense. Send me a tweet @starthq when you get around to adding the feed and I'll include it in the directory.

Will do, thanks again.

Is this going to be freemium like NewsBlur or pay-only? I'm happy to use the service and tell people how much I like it (and at first glance I like it a lot more than the other readers I've used!), but I have ~20 feeds almost all of which rarely update so $5/month is a hard sell.

Do you have any plans to develop iPad/iPhone/etc. readers yourself, or just have them use your API?

Yes to both! Apps for other devices are certainly coming, and they'll make use of the same API we've published.

While I like the list view, I'm missing one thing:

Would it be possible to add the title of the blog an item is from in lighter text?

Yeah we've discussed that today actually. It'll either be that, or the blog's favicon - not sure which but it's definitely needed.

Looks good. A few questions, though: 1. Is there no "Mark all as read" (per feed, and general)? 2. Is there a way to only show those feeds with new items? 3. It says "Free for July". Afterwards what's the pricing? 4. Is there a mobile app or mobile-optimized site? Thanks!

1) There are a few little ui functions like "mark all read" still missing, those will come over the next day or so - we just wanted to get this out right now to give people a chance to do the one-step Reader import before it shuts down. Actually if you look at our API you'll see it already supports mark all as read, just missing the button.

2) No but that's a great idea, we'll definitely try and work that in shortly, thanks!

3) We're charging $5 a month - we talk about it in much more detail in our initial blog post and FAQ.

4) Not yet, that's our next "big ticket" item, but it's absolutely coming.

Great thanks. About the mobile thing, I absolutely don't need a dedicated native app. Something like Google Reader's own mobile UI would be totally OK.

Needs the j/k shortcuts of GR!

yep, Reader keyboard navigation seems overlooked by most clones sadly

j/k missing. Instead up and down are used to go to the next/previous article. How am I supposed to scroll in an article? I am starting to think I really have to make my very own feed reader that fits my needs.

Edit: Ah, good luck with your reader though!

FF22 on Win7 doesn't like your font at all, blog post is very hard, same in the app. @yoleoreader had the same problem and changed to a different font I think (maybe only for some users like me?), much better now.

Please allow password verification on account creation. I realize you're going for minimalism, but it's really bad UX.

Is it?

OT/@Mods: Help required... I can't save/upvote this and recent stories (Upvote not preserved).

Stop making all these readers please.

Why do you hate reading?

It is just a waste of time and talent. I mean this reader looks great, but why does it exist? Someone with this talent could have built something more useful to actually make a difference in something.

Google reader quits and now everybody runs to make some sort of RSS reader. The times they are a changin', get over it.

Yeah please tell us what you have got over to? Twitter? Facebook?

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