I just recently got the chance to participate in the private beta of a new application called Regator. Though I can’t offer any invites (go to www.regator.com, try ajaxian as the invite code- worked for some), I’ll tell you a bit about it, and what’s up ahead.
Regator is a feed reader in the same sense as some of the other things I’ve mentioned- most notably Google Reader- but it does things differently enough that it’s going to do awfully well.
Instead of focusing on sites like CNN.com, or whatever, it’s almost entirely blog-driven. Regator’s goal is to bring together all the blogs out there, millions upon millions, and deliver the best of them to you. It’s no small task, and Regator does it admirably.
When you sign up, the first thing to do is go to the channels listing, and pick some things that interest you. You can manually add blogs you like to your feed, but Regator’s real appeal is in discovering new content.
Say you choose “Gadgets” as a channel of interest. First of all, we should be friends. Second of all, Regator will show you posts and blogs that you, as a gadget fan and my new best friend, might be interested in. You can vote for posts good and bad (a way to hopefully eliminate bad stuff), save posts, and consider blogs your favorites.
You can browse through blogs that you’ve saved, blogs similar to the ones you’ve saved, and any thing you can imagine.
My favorite feature of Regator is their “What’s Hot” list. It is a list of things the blogosphere is talking about, and all the different tags showing up frequently on the Internet. At the top of the list right now: iPhone (shocker), Barack Obama (wonder why… Jesse Jackson is number 5) and Yahoo (actually weird.)
The sheer amount of information can be a bit overwhelming, particularly at first, but it is a great repository for all the blogs, mostly good and few bad, out there.
There are a couple of things I’m not a fan of, too. The in-line bits are just summary of the posts, and there’s no way I’ve found to get the whole article without opening a new window or tab, or leaving the Regator site. I also don’t like the fact that the votes of other people play such a huge role in determining what I see. TechCrunch pointed out that that feature leads to a Digg-clone, which I don’t need. Other than those two, though, I like the app a lot- it has some serious promise.
Here are a couple of screenshots, from my own browser: