Time for Questions

September 4th, 2007 7 Comments

greader.pngSo, I noticed tonight that Google Reader was displaying a more accurate number of unread items for each feed and folder. To be exact, it was a factor of ten more accurate, showing 1000+ and true counts for everything less than 1000.

Then, while writing this entry, it went back to the old style, 100+ and accurate counts below 100. Now, I’m wishing I had a screenshot, but rather than assume I’m losing my mind, I remember previous accounts of this happening with GMail features, as Google tested them out and rolled them back on unsuspecting users, giggling all the while.

Now, it’s back and I did get a screenshot. I am not crazy.

The beauty part is that this post was to be about how I expected to read about this new feature in dozens of blogs tomorrow. Now, I’m positive it will be all over Techmeme as the denizens of the blogosphere compare notes and try to one-up each other while simultaneously slapping each other on the back.

So, the question I have is: Am I the only one getting tired of reading the same news item in 5-10 different feeds?

Technical blogging has become more about aggregating news and scooping than adding any semblance of analysis or opinion, which is weird because it feels more like mainstream journalism than blogging. Isn’t good old blogging about opinion first, facts later?

Which leads to my second question, why do I need an aggregator-blog when I have so many ways to share news/links socially? At least four ways come immediately to mind:

  1. Use the Share feature of Google Reader. This gives you a nice page where anyone can see your links. It looks a little circa 1997, but it’s functional. Of course, you can also broadcast these to Facebook too using the Google Reader Shared Items Facebook application, sponsored by Robert Scoble.
  2. Post it to Facebook, made easy by the Share on Facebook bookmarklet. This isn’t a public method, so you can spam your friends, I mean target your audience.
  3. Use del.icio.us, remember that little nugget? This tried and true method seems to be losing favor, although I’m not sure why.
  4. Read Techmeme or Digg. That is all.

So, riddle me this, why should I read blogs anymore?

Sound off in comments.


Possibly Related Posts

7 Responses to “Time for Questions”

  1. Eddie Awad Says:

    I did notice minor changes in my Google Reader yesterday, like the ability to expand/collapse the sidebar by clicking a small arrow, and the “Loading” message was moved to the top. But today, these changes are gone.

    To stay up to date with the latest “buzz” on the net, I do subscribe to Techmeme and doggdot.us, in addition to Dzone and of course OraNA.info. These 4 feeds and the del.icio.us/tag/oracle feed are responsible for most of the unread items in my GReader.

  2. Eddie Awad Says:

    I did notice minor changes in my Google Reader yesterday, like the ability to expand/collapse the sidebar by clicking a small arrow, and the “Loading” message was moved to the top. But today, these changes are gone.

    To stay up to date with the latest “buzz” on the net, I do subscribe to Techmeme and doggdot.us, in addition to Dzone and of course OraNA.info. These 4 feeds and the del.icio.us/tag/oracle feed are responsible for most of the unread items in my GReader.

  3. Niall Litchfield Says:

    Hi

    I’m not really convinced that the technology has caught up with the user expectation yet. Or maybe just my expectation – I think that I currently have approximately 863 different ways of reading feeds I’m interested in – and I’m not entirely happy with any of them. Google reader works well enough but feels clunky, my mail client will read rss feeds, but then I nearly always have to fire up a browser to read the article anyway – my firefox live bookmarks have become a forest and so on. I signed up for a facebook account specifically to do the google reader thing you refer to, but don’t like facebook (heresy!) or the applet over the share feature of google reader anyway. And so on.

    I suppose my expectation is to get all the stuff I’d want to read but never find, without all the stuff I don’t want in an intuitive interface and delivered to me. Preferably just by tagging my interest at Oracle and leaving it at that. That’s not much to ask is it?

  4. Niall Litchfield Says:

    Hi

    I’m not really convinced that the technology has caught up with the user expectation yet. Or maybe just my expectation – I think that I currently have approximately 863 different ways of reading feeds I’m interested in – and I’m not entirely happy with any of them. Google reader works well enough but feels clunky, my mail client will read rss feeds, but then I nearly always have to fire up a browser to read the article anyway – my firefox live bookmarks have become a forest and so on. I signed up for a facebook account specifically to do the google reader thing you refer to, but don’t like facebook (heresy!) or the applet over the share feature of google reader anyway. And so on.

    I suppose my expectation is to get all the stuff I’d want to read but never find, without all the stuff I don’t want in an intuitive interface and delivered to me. Preferably just by tagging my interest at Oracle and leaving it at that. That’s not much to ask is it?

  5. Jake Says:

    I notice that Reader is doing it again today, and maybe after the dust settles from yesterday’s Apple announcements, someone will notice.

    I agree there isn’t a killer app way to get all the content you can eat for a keyword. Seems like Google would be able to do that, but they’re too interested in ads.

    Jake

  6. Jake Says:

    I notice that Reader is doing it again today, and maybe after the dust settles from yesterday’s Apple announcements, someone will notice.

    I agree there isn’t a killer app way to get all the content you can eat for a keyword. Seems like Google would be able to do that, but they’re too interested in ads.

    Jake

  7. Jof Arnold Says:

    @Jake – “All you can eat for a keyword”.

    Our facebook app, Blog Friends, can do exactly that: we supply you blogs based on keyword likes/dislikes, filtered and contextualized via your social network.
    We’ve 7,500 users so far and have indexed 200,000 blog posts: the more friends you have with the app, the better the content you’ll get. If you’re a blogger it’s not just a great way of discovering new content (and indeed new bloggers), but also for driving new visitors to you site.

    You can find the app at: http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=3221375004

    Jof – Blog Friends

Leave a Reply