Digg aims Google Reader replacement at power users: Keyboard shortcuts first, search later

Digg aims Google Reader replacement at power users: Keyboard shortcuts first, search later

Digg on Thursday released the results of its Google Reader survey it conducted last week. In the process, the company used the data to back up some key decisions, namely that the product will be aimed at power users, featuring keyboard shortcuts but possibly not search at launch.

Digg sent out its survey to over 17,000 people who signed up in interest of a Google Reader replacement. The company says it has received more than 8,000 responses so far.

Some of the results aren’t too surprising: 40 percent of users follow more than 100 feeds, 80 percent check Google Reader many times a day, and 75 percent use it for both work and play. As journalists and Google Reader users, we already knew these general trends. Digg was apparently surprised, however, and concluded that its upcoming product will have to be “for power users, and we’ll need to make sure we have some serious infrastructure in place to support that kind of usage for launch.”

Yet the best part of the survey was this pie chart:


67 percent of respondents say they use keyboard shortcuts at least some of the time. “Don’t worry, this one’s definitely on the list,” Digg says. As someone who uses keyboard shortcuts in Google Reader on an hourly basis, I have to say they’re making the right call here.

Search, however, is a different story:


Here’s Digg’s explanation of the data:

This was an interesting data point. While 25% reported never using search, over just over half said that they sometimes do. Search is a huge investment in terms of development time and infrastructure costs. We don’t yet know if we’ll have the necessary infrastructure up and running in time for our initial beta launch, but it’s definitely on the roadmap.

Again, I rarely use search in Google Reader (maybe once every few months) so it’s great to see this feature is coming but that it’s not being prioritized very highly.

Last but not least, this word cloud for the question “If there’s one thing you could remove from Google Reader what would it be?” speaks for itself:


Google Reader users just want another Google Reader.

See also – Digg announces plan to build an RSS reader with ‘the best of Google Reader’s features,’ including its API and Digg says it’s serious about building a replacement for Google Reader, outlines its focus

Top Image credit: LaughingSquid / Flickr

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