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Colin Devroe

Reverse Engineer. Blogger.

Hello Google Reader

July 30, 2007

I know what you might be thinking. You’re probably thinking: “Isn’t he the guy that said…”

… my main reason for not using some of the most popular web applications has been because I can not use them offline. I am a firm believer in having all of my data available to me at anytime. — Why I’m excited about Google Gears

Yes, I am. But there comes a time when you must give something a try, regardless of your preconcieved notions, even if just for the sake of trying something new. I had tried to switch to Google Reader, prior to yesterday, with no luck. But finally I took a few hours, yes – a few hours – and bit the bullet and switched because I was having a few problems with NetNewsWire.

Google Reader screenshot

My tags in Google Reader

My main reasons for wanting to switch to Google Reader, prior to actually doing so, were:

  • It is free.
  • I can use it on my iPhone. Again, for free.
  • I can access it from any Internet connected computer.
  • The interface is completely customizable.
  • It makes good use of “tags”.
  • The keyboard shortcuts are amazing.
  • With Google Gears, I could use it offline.

I was having some trouble, only recently, with NetNewsWire where it would crash without generating a crash report. Normally I would have gone through the process of emailing the developers a copy of my .console log – but I decided to use it as an opportunity to try out Google Reader, and also slim down my number of subscriptions substantially.

As of yesterday if you had asked me how many feed subscriptions I had I would have answered you with “750 ” or “too many”. As much as I enjoy reading, it was getting harder and harder to keep up with everything in my feed reader and I was finding myself unable to retain as much of the information because I ended up skimming everything.

As of today I would answer “less than 200”. In fact, until I went in and subscribed to a few “activity notification feeds” I was down to 157. That means I slimmed down my number of subscriptions by over 80%! Sometimes a fresh pair of clothes is all you need to really get something done.

I’ll check in on this subject again in the future (perhaps in a month or so)… but so far my experience with the latest version of Google Reader has gone swimmingly. Far better than it had in the past.