Tag Archives: api

Google Reader API?

I’m surprised in this day and age where iOS only apps have their own API that a longstanding service like Google Reader doesn’t have an API. Apparently an API has been coming soon since 2005.

This is probably because idiots think RSS is dead. Not friendly to the mainstream user? Sure. Dead? No, not when every blog comes with a RSS feed.

Google Reader Like function screenshot

It would be neat to play around with the Like function in an API. For example, a blogger may want to reach out to those who RSS subscribe & like their posts. It would be harder to find a more engaged power user (given that users have to 1.) Use Google Reader, 2.) Add your feed, 3.) Read your posts, and 4.) Click like).

Google Reader navigation screenshot

The current Google Reader navigation is a poor mish-mash of social function bolted onto a best of breed RSS reader.

Consider what each of the items in the navigation section do:

  1. Home – A
  2. All Items – B
  3. Starred Items – C
  4. Your Stuff – D
  5. Shared Items – D
  6. Notes – D
  7. Trends – E
  8. Browse for stuff – A
  9. People you follow – F
  10. Explore – A
  11. Subscriptions – B

This can be boiled down to:

  1. A – Find new feeds.
  2. B – View unread feeds. Note that All Items is the default google.com/reader view, which works out well.
  3. C – Star items for later.
  4. D РYour shared items by granularity.
  5. E – Pretty stats page.
  6. F – Shared content by friends.

I would revamp the navigation to:

  1. A – Find new feeds. However Google wants to introduce you to new feeds, it can’t possibly take more than one page.
  2. D – Shared Items. I don’t distinguish between Shared Items and Notes. The actual distinction is that the former is via Google Reader sharing and the latter is via a bookmarklet type function.
  3. C – Starred Items. Keep this one as is.
  4. B,F – All Subscriptions. The “Subscriptions” text should show all subscriptions. Currently, the Subscriptions text reloads your subscriptions. Reloading subscriptions should be a refresh icon that everyone is familiar with. Then, I would make a folder under Subscriptions for¬†People you follow items.

I wouldn’t mind losing the Trends (or stats) page since it caps out at 300K read items and 30 day trending.

2009-2010 CA High School Rankings

Oh, neat. There’s just updated API data for CA schools earlier this week on 5/13.

I’m finding all the information both pleasant and frustrating. Pleasant that it’s available for all so easily, yet tricky to understand in plain English.

What I looked at is the API data files 2009-2010 (2009 Base API-Data File DBF). Below are the top ten CA High School rankings without looking at special education, alternative models (ASAM), small size, or charter schools.

2009-2010 CA Base API High Schools

  1. Gretchen Whitney High
  2. Oxford Academy
  3. California Academy of Mathematics and Sc
  4. Mission San Jose High
  5. Lowell High
  6. San Marino High
  7. Monta Vista High
  8. Saratoga High
  9. Miramonte High
  10. Troy High

Note that Lynbrook is next at #11 after Troy High.

For comparison, here is the same list based on the Growth API instead of Base.

2009-2010 CA Growth API High Schools

  1. Gretchen Whitney High
  2. Oxford Academy
  3. California Academy of Mathematics and Sc
  4. Lowell High
  5. Mission San Jose High
  6. San Marino High
  7. Monta Vista High
  8. Saratoga High
  9. Miramonte High
  10. Lynbrook High

Troy is #11 in the growth basis.

The list is largely unchanged between the base and the subsequent growth API update.

I think it’s interesting since I attended Monta Vista High and students largely hold a grudge against MV for being so book focused and competitive. Parents, on the other hand, do whatever they can to get into the school so that their children will have a (theoretically) better future.

Disclaimer: I am not familiar with CA school rankings so my analysis may not take into consideration something that another person may view as key.