Nilter and MyRSS are two recently launched startpages made in Germany. If you know Netvibes or Pageflakes you know the deal: the sites aggregate a few RSS feeds from popular news sources and organise them in easy to navigate tabs and if you want you can customise these feeds, add some widgets (todo lists, bookmarks, calculator, local weather, …) and create your very own infotainment center.
Most people don’t know about RSS yet and since handling feeds is a key skill to efficiently extract maximum value from the web all efforts to spread the word should be applauded. Both sites have been developed in an academic setting – Nilter comes from a spin-off from the department for information management at the University of Cologne, MyRSS has its roots in the University of Frankfurt – and both sites are decent looking and try to attract new audiences.
Nilter (their proclaimed goal is to “provide ubiquitous personalised cross-medial information”) has teamed up with T-Onlines beta portal and MyRSS provides workshops for students and professors.
But startpages are a solved problem. And neither Nilter nor MyRSS add anything new to the mix. In fact Netvibes et al. provide much more features both for consuming and sharing, collaborating or publishing feeds and hence much more value to their users. Why reinvent the wheel over and over again?
(This article originally was written for blognation Germany. Since blognation is gone I have reposted it here)