Posts Tagged ‘google reader’

How the new Google Reader has stopped me from sharing

I used to click “Share” on Google Reader quite regularly. I occasionally did “Share with note”. Google’s killed this feature, focusing on loading a +1 button in the iOS/mobile interface (/reader/i). If you use the regular view (/reader/view), you have the option of +1 or a g+ Share.

The +1 just does just that. It says I +1 it. I like it. I endorse it. The g+ Share is like the old “Share with note”.

I do most of my RSS reading on a host of mobiles (iPhone, Android devices, Nokia N9) and my tablet (an iPad). The default view is this one. The iOS/touch interface. I usually use a 3G connection, and sometimes its not so hot. The +1 button is a graphic that has to load. And it occasionally pops up a new window, loads something in Plus, then comes back to the reader. It just breaks my flow.

So I’ve stopped sharing on Google Reader. It takes too much work to use +1. It is not seamless. It is not integrated. It just seems like an afterthought of “oh shit, we need to make Reader more social; lets tack on the +1 button”.

Google Reader is a great service. Its free. It solves my problem of reading on multiple devices because it is a “one synced RSS feed” (because it is online). I used to use desktop RSS readers on Linux and Mac OSX, but I’ve pretty much just focused on Google Reader for the last few years. I even had a great list of shared items. Now I just star items if I want to come back to it later…


On fearing the continuity of online services

Today I read that co.mments bit the dust. Another web service (who remembers the I Want Sandy discussion a while back), ceasing to exist (though from what I see, a lot of folk are using Disqus more).

It got me a little worried. I rely quite a bit on online services.

  • Bookmarking, once previously living in my bookmark.htm file, now is shared on delicious. It has proven to be invaluable, storing 3,108 bookmarks. They are a Yahoo! run company.
  • Photo storage and sharing, once previously sitting in directories on my web server, are now kept on my Flickr account. Flickr is great, because I can share photos with just friends, family, or participate in a vibrant community of photo enthusiasts. I currently have 16,813 items stored there, with backups on various media sitting in my various homes. They are a Yahoo! run company, and I happily pay them for a Pro account.
  • I depend on Google Reader (read my shared items) to read RSS feeds. In fact, I have been sharing items as a form of bookmarking them. Ditto with adding stars to items. Don’t say Google doesn’t close services – they have.
  • I use Google Calendar, because it simply rocks. I also use Google Docs, and I also use GMail (hosted, and regular).
  • I use Twitter, who has no business model, as of yet. I like it over FriendFeed for one minor detail – I can update via SMS.

Most of these services have ways for you to get your data out of them, assuming they don’t exist in due time. But what will replace them?

Sure there are desktop applications. But with the variety of devices I utilise, I’m trying to cut down from using desktop applications and just focus on working online. In fact, all that is open now is Firefox, Adium, iTunes, TextMate (where I carve this text out), Terminal, Skype and twhirl. On my work laptop, its just Thunderbird, Firefox, Terminal, and Skype that’s open.

So maybe I need less desktop applications. It’s good, because that’s the hope of online services – live right in your browser.

But in tough(er) times, what do you do if the online service you use, disappears? Where’s the continuity (i.e. will my grandkids be able to browse my Flickr photo albums?)

I do wonder, if this will lead to more open source, peer-to-peer/federated run, online services. Like if Twitter folds up, who’s to say its excellent community won’t move to ? (till then though, the latter probably doesn’t stand a chance, besides the very geeky top-of-the-trend open source folk…)

Google Reader translates foreign language blogs

Both Giuseppe and Kaj have blogs in languages that I don’t understand. In fact, even Planet MySQL has feeds for German, Spanish and French blogs.

Want to keep up with non-English based blogs? Happen to use Google Reader? Then use their nifty “Translate into my language” feature.

Google Reader Translates

I can now read Giuseppe’s latest Italian blog. Current content is about MySQL 5.1 for the impatient – a feature overview of what’s new and cool.