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freemyfeedlogo.gifI am always mystified about why people would want to do this but there is now a way for you to read your Gmail email in a RSS reader.

Previously, it was very difficult, bordering on impossible. Gmail has a RSS feed which is called an “authenticated feed” which basically means you need to enter your username and password in order to access it. A lot of web-based RSS services, including Google Reader ironically enough, don’t support authenticated feeds. In fact, they still don’t. So what FreeMyFeed does is act as the middle man, taking your feed and swapping it for a proxy that the RSS service WILL accept.

Of course this means that you have to trust FreeMyFeed with your Gmail username and password. I tested the service with a dummy account and fake emails but I would never use this service with my main accounts. With over 10,000 emails, I would have too much to lose if the service was ever compromised. So you need to decide if you are willing to take the risk and trust the service with your Gmail user details. Maybe it’s just me and my paranoia at work. I don’t know.

So first I set up a new Gmail account and I sent myself a couple of fake emails to get the account going :

gmailfakeaccountemails.gif

Then I took the RSS feed for the account – https://mail.google.com/mail/feed/atom – and entered it along with the username and the password into the main page of FreeMyFeed. You then just need to click that funky little “Free Your Feed” logo at the bottom :

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freemyfeedmainpagedetails.gif

You will then be asked what feed reader you want to use. I selected Google Reader but you are given quite a nice wide selection. So after clicking on Google Reader, up come my emails :

freemyfeedinrssreaderfinal.gif

Although your emails are now in the RSS reader, the originals are still sitting unread in your email inbox. These are only copies. So I guess you can call this a POP version of an inbox.

What I find a bit pointless about the whole thing is that you can’t send out emails from your RSS reader, nor can you respond to emails from there. You can only read them.

But as I said before, there ARE people out there that really like this sort of thing, who find it immensely useful, so as the radio DJ’s like to say on the romantic hour, “guys and girls, this one’s for you!

  1. It's me
    March 6, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    Just what I was looking for. I set up Google Alerts, and filter them to various labels. Still, clicking on each and every email, just to stay updated on a topic was a hassle in Gmail. This one's nice.

  2. Steven
    May 10, 2008 at 11:07 am

    Have you even tried ttnews?

    this tiny tools can read and write gmail. It also functions as a fully functioned news ticker.

    can be downloaded at:

    ttnews.googlepages.com/ttnews_en.rar

    cheers!

  3. Rob
    April 22, 2008 at 9:18 am

    How about for a work environ that does not allow e-mail? This at least allows reading.

    • Alan
      April 7, 2009 at 2:01 am

      that is exactly my problem. unfortunatelly this doesn't seem to work anymore (nothing appears in the feed reader). [April 2009]

    • Alan
      April 7, 2009 at 2:14 am

      Correction to myself. If you copy the link provided by freemyfeed into google reader now it works. the only thing, don't email from google reader item because the feed will be given to the recipient of the email and from there anyone will be able to read your email feeds (ie. all your incoming emails). I trying to workaround that now.

  4. engtech
    April 22, 2008 at 8:18 am

    This isn't a good idea. Consider the Bloglines/Gmail fiasco from 2006:

    http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/061002-083625

  5. Brainiac
    April 21, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    I agree with Siddharth, very useful. Thanks Mark.

  6. Siddharth
    April 21, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    nice post :)

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