Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to write an article or two about design choices that I’ve made in Zesty News. The ideas for Zesty News started forming in late-2002, and were fairly concrete by mid-2003. I remember talking to Nigel, my boss at the time, about some of the ideas. At that point, with a baby coming in July, I was not in a good position to make a run for it.
Late last year, I surveyed the scene and decided that I’d give it a go. None of the feed readers out there did what I wanted. Despite new RSS readers popping up all the time, they nearly all seemed to be clones of one another.
In short, and I’m sure that everyone will agree with me on this, there is plenty of room in the RSS reader space for new development and new ideas. Feed readers haven’t entered the mainstream yet, but the increasing number of mainstream articles about blogs and RSS is changing that. Millions of people are using Firefox now, which raises the awareness of RSS through its little orange icon in the lower right hand corner. Safari 2.0, shipping today as part of Mac OS X Tiger, adds a blue RSS emblem. And IE7, going into beta this summer, will also reportedly have RSS support.
2005 is probably the year that news aggregation crosses the chasm. While I’m sure that there will be a small handful of dominant players, as with any business, the size of the ecosystem will be so much larger that even small players like Blazing Things can have a role.