Reflections on Google Reader

I’ve been using Google Reader for a few weeks now and overall, I totally dig it. With hindsight I can’t believe I ever tried to keep up with blogs without a feed reader. It’s SO much easier this way! I don’t waste time checking blogs that aren’t frequently updated and I love being able to organize feeds into categories. It also hadn’t occurred to me that I could use a reader to monitor updates to non-blog sites like Flickr or the Reporting and Essays section of The New Yorker. I do miss seeing the design elements of some sites but that’s far outweighed by the positives. I also like all of the keyboard shortcuts for navigating around Google Reader, though I’m still getting familiar with them. That said, I do have a few complaints. They are:

  • In order to file a feed in a particular category, you have to exit the main reader screen. It would be great to be able to drag and drop feeds into categories from the main screen. Wrong-o! You can organize feeds into folders from the main screen using the Feed settings button
  • You can’t add a feed from the screen you use to organize feeds into categories.
  • Some of the feeds are truncated and there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do about that. I have to visit the blog to see the entire post. (I may be missing something obvious here.)
  • This might be something that only dorky Web developers do but when I point to a link, I often check the status bar of my Web browser to see where it leads before clicking it. This functionality is spotty in Internet Explorer but seems to be fine in Firefox.
  • Some feeds don’t update automatically or even relatively close to when the blog is updated. I noticed this by accident with several different blogs. Clicking the Refresh button doesn’t make a difference.
  • It’s a bummer you can’t comment on posts from your reader.

One other thing – why do people list 70 million feeds on their blogs? Aren’t they all fed from the same XML file? Is this just a courtesy to users to accommodate different readers?

Did any of you guys try other readers? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

P.S. Is it me, or does “Facebook” sound like a euphemism for oral sex? Like “I’ll return her call, but only because she gives good facebook.”


8 Responses to “Reflections on Google Reader”

  1. KNH Says:

    What timing… I just started using Google Reader today. I already love it. I used to just add every blog I wanted to read to my blogroll, then click on each one to see if there were any new posts.

    I suggest you look at this post for more information, and maybe post your Google Reader questions there. Carlton’s pretty helpful when people need it.


  2. Christine Says:

    I love using Google Reader and now I only waste half the time catching up on things! LOL! Overall I can’t complain too much about it – it saves me most days.

  3. designonpost Says:

    I don’t read my blogs from the Google page, there’s a link that is called “Next” that allows you to go through all of the updates on their own pages.

  4. Kriss Says:

    I still roll through my blogroll. Call me old school, but I like checking out everybody’s sites for updates.

    And yeah, I hear ya on Facebook. I always think it sounds violent or argumentative; like “I want to smash you in your facebook”.

  5. Julie Says:

    I love Google Reader! I used to use Bloglines but it seemed like every time I wanted to use it they were doing maintenance and I couldn’t, so I gave up and started using Google.

  6. sandy Says:

    i know what you mean. i, too, check the link before clicking – and that would drive me cah-razy. firefox live bookmarks is working decently for me. but, unlike a reader, there’s no way of alerting me to a new post. instead, i mouse over my list of blog and it shows me all of the latest posts from each. so i sort of have to remember what i’ve read and what i haven’t.

  7. PastaQueen Says:

    Thanks for the review! I’m glad you’re not using Bloglines. They suck ASS! I upgraded my hosting plan last weekend, which required me to move to a new IP, but the Bloglines is *still* updating from the old IP address. I even e-mailed them to reset the feeds, they said they did, and it’s *still* doing it. So I think I’m just going to have to keep posting copies of my entries to my old reseller account (which I’m keeping anyway for other sites) just so the Bloglines peeps get them. Google feed reader didn’t have this problem.

  8. westwardbound Says:

    I don’t use any readers but I almost spit my iced tea all over the keyboard with your Facebook comment. HA!

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