Home Mainstreaming RSS: Regator is Now in Public Beta

Mainstreaming RSS: Regator is Now in Public Beta

We first wrote about the mainstream RSS reader and blog directory Regator in early July. At that time, Regator was still in private testing, but today, it has opened up its doors for a public beta release. Since we first covered Regator, the developers have made some important changes to their service, including the ability to upload OPML files. Even with this feature, though, Regator still remains a highly curated service, where every new entry in its blog directory has to be approved by the editors.

Regator is a very well designed RSS reader and blog directory. Every blog listed on Regator has been categorized and approved by the editors, which has allowed them to create a very extensive catalog of high quality blogs and news sites. As we pointed out in our initial review, Regator does an especially good job at handling posts with embedded media files. The layout of the site is very distinct from other RSS readers like Google Reader, Bloglines, or Newsgator. In some ways, with the focus on categories and comments, Regator almost looks more like a blog than an RSS reader.

Bring Your Own OPML

One of our main issues we had with the earlier incarnation of Regator was that you couldn’t import your own OPML files, which seemed to restrict it quite a bit as an RSS reader for more advanced users. While Regator now allows you to upload your own OPML files, your imported feeds will only be visible to you because of Regator’s approach of personally vetting all feeds shown on the site. At the same time, Regator will look at every imported feed and consider them for inclusion in the general index, which turns uploading your OPML file into a recommendation mechanism.

New Features

Also new in this release is the ability to share post via Twitter, Facebook, and email. Besides this, Regator spent a lot of time polishing and tweaking the service, as well as adding a few minor features. For the near future, Regator is also expecting to give its users a unique page for shared posts akin to Google’s Shared Items pages.

What About Advanced Users?

In our earlier review, we said that Regator was a great resource for mainstream users and maybe even a good introduction to RSS in general. With the ability to upload custom OPML files and the soon to be released Shared Items pages, Regator is now closer to being worth a second look for more advanced users as well. What does hold it back for power users, though, is still the fact that it only displays summaries of articles and doesn’t display any images in those summaries. There are good reasons for that, including the fact that the folks at Regator want to give traffic back to those who write the content, but it does make the site just a bit less useful in comparison to a regular RSS reader.

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