Agitating Google Reader users!


I have a lot of reading ahead of me!

It seems that my latest post about Google Reader irked more than a few people. It wasn't that they didn't agree that the new interface was a downgrade; more that it irritated them and caused them much mental pain to see my Google Reader page with over 1000+ unread items shown.

“OMG – you’re killing me! Press the “Mark all as read” button already ;-)”
~ Todd

I'm here to apologise for such metal anguish and to assure you all I'll never let you see anything like that again.

It is an interesting experiment though to see how people who use the same application can use it so differently. I tend to use Google Reader a lot on my iPhone so I'm used to skimming headings and only reading what's interesting. I also pay little to no attention whatsoever to the "Unread" post count. I figure I don't read every article in a newspaper or magazine, so why should I be expected to read every blog post? Bah humbug!

But back to using headings (the 1337 way) instead of the expanded mode (the un1337 way). Back when Jim Kloss used to use Google Reader he commented on this:

“Weird to me that y’all (well Ruben and Sparx for sure, not sure about others) use LIST mode and not EXPANDED or whatever they call it, where you get the whole entry. I use the expanded (save myself that extra click and decision “Is there something good under this headline?”) and just scroll past fast and let Reader mark them as read as I scroll by. (Admittedly, that code is broken somewhat lately if you fly by too fast.)

I’m going to try it your way just to see. But I’m afraid headlines aren’t any indication whatsoever to what’s underneath … (or maybe I just don’t understand how it works yet)”

Perhaps I'm just a shallow person, but I figure if the heading is boring and uninspired then it's a pretty good indication that the article will be too. Or if the heading is boring I check to see who it was written by; often I'll forgive people I'm interested in for not being creative with their headings.

Though I've just thought of a way I can exploit this… stay tuned!

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Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

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