Google Reader updates (and a video too!)

Wow, just read this over on TechCrunch that Google Reader has been updated and they put up a video too. Nice! But I’ll still go over and do a more in depth video. I’m also downloading it and will see if it gets me to switch off of my favorite NewsGator.

UPDATE: I’ve loaded all my feeds into it. It’s quite nice. Works fast, clean UI. Does what you’d expect a news reader to do (brought in my OPML file from NewsGator without complaining).

Some things I’m still missing. Is there a “river of news” option here? That’s what I’m looking for. I want to just have a continuous scroll where I can go through my news feed. No folders, just a chronilogical view of all my items. OnFolio used to get pretty close to that, but I haven’t see any company really change the news reader metaphor very much. I’d also love to see a reordering of the list of feeds based on who publishes most (right now it’s just alphabetical). Or, who has the most links according to Google BlogSearch. Wouldn’t that be cool?

Some problems exist. I clicked on “email” at the bottom of a feed item and it gave me a “Bad Request” error. “Your client has issued a malformed or illegal request.” I’m using latest version of Firefox.

I don’t understand what the “Share” icon does at the bottom of each item. I click on it and it just changes to “Unshare.” OK, I guess I gotta go do some homework about where that gets shared to. It’s a mystery to me. But, what do I know? I’m blonde.

Oh, yeah, where’s the integration with Google Blog Search? One of the most powerful things I’ve been showing audiences lately is you can track anyone in the world who says anything on a blog. Say someone says “Scoble sucks” on a blog, even one without any readers, well, it could show up in my Google Reader. I don’t see a way to build a “search subscription.” NewsGator has that built into its online reader. NewsGator also has a community ranking feature built right in. Imagine if Google were going to build its own “Digg-style” community? In fact, there’s a URL where you can star things, but it’s not clear that there’ll be a site where I can subscribe to everything that people have “starred.”

It’ll be interesting to read the reviews about this and see where it goes.

Comments

  1. There is a river of news option, that’s the first thing I look for too. It’s under options, sort automatic. Strange description but what are you going to do? Blogsearch exclusion is strange.

  2. There is a river of news option, that’s the first thing I look for too. It’s under options, sort automatic. Strange description but what are you going to do? Blogsearch exclusion is strange.

  3. Yep, the aggregated view is there. I had such high hopes for Google Reader back when it was first released, but it was waaaaay tooo sllooooow. Now, this feels very usable and could even tempting me away from my own RSS reader project.

    Still needs a few more features like searching for similar articles, or some sort of grouping of articles that are running the same meme (so I only have to read the same story once =) Needs dinosaurs listing. However, it needs some way of marking ranges of articles that have been read. My MonkeyChow reader has a “Mark up to here” feature which lets you check off a number of items as having been read without having to check off each one. This is pretty useful when you only want to mark off some articles in a list of 200 or so. Something like what GMail offers would be even more useful. The reblogging feature is similar to what I have now, so they’ve provided a lot of what I already use, and with the Sharing they’ve improved on it dramatically.

    All in all, it’s very pretty, and quite usable.

  4. Yep, the aggregated view is there. I had such high hopes for Google Reader back when it was first released, but it was waaaaay tooo sllooooow. Now, this feels very usable and could even tempting me away from my own RSS reader project.

    Still needs a few more features like searching for similar articles, or some sort of grouping of articles that are running the same meme (so I only have to read the same story once =) Needs dinosaurs listing. However, it needs some way of marking ranges of articles that have been read. My MonkeyChow reader has a “Mark up to here” feature which lets you check off a number of items as having been read without having to check off each one. This is pretty useful when you only want to mark off some articles in a list of 200 or so. Something like what GMail offers would be even more useful. The reblogging feature is similar to what I have now, so they’ve provided a lot of what I already use, and with the Sharing they’ve improved on it dramatically.

    All in all, it’s very pretty, and quite usable.

  5. I’ve been using Google Reader for the past couple weeks after switching from Thunderbird to Firefox Live Bookmarks before trying Google Reader. It was decent before, but I absolutely love it now. The way that items are marked as read as you scroll is way cool :) I’m still baffled as to why we can’t search the feeds that we’re subscribing to. Hopefully that’s on the way.

  6. I’ve been using Google Reader for the past couple weeks after switching from Thunderbird to Firefox Live Bookmarks before trying Google Reader. It was decent before, but I absolutely love it now. The way that items are marked as read as you scroll is way cool :) I’m still baffled as to why we can’t search the feeds that we’re subscribing to. Hopefully that’s on the way.

  7. This is tragic! The beauty of the old Google Reader interface was that it WASN’T Newsgator, Outlook, or any of the other RSS readers that treated feeds as if they were email.

    I didn’t get seriously into reading by RSS until I discovered Reader’s “river of news” interface. The “lens” on the left with stories on the right was different (and for my purposes, far superior) to the folder metaphor that everyone else uses.

    My biggest problem — they replaced useful space (a story list) with useless space (a feed list). I don’t care about my feed list 99% of the time. Just show me what there is to read! I already know where it’s coming from.

    Thankfully, Google has left the old interface around as an option — at least for now. Many of us are chiming in on their forums, explaining what an awful design decision they made.

  8. This is tragic! The beauty of the old Google Reader interface was that it WASN’T Newsgator, Outlook, or any of the other RSS readers that treated feeds as if they were email.

    I didn’t get seriously into reading by RSS until I discovered Reader’s “river of news” interface. The “lens” on the left with stories on the right was different (and for my purposes, far superior) to the folder metaphor that everyone else uses.

    My biggest problem — they replaced useful space (a story list) with useless space (a feed list). I don’t care about my feed list 99% of the time. Just show me what there is to read! I already know where it’s coming from.

    Thankfully, Google has left the old interface around as an option — at least for now. Many of us are chiming in on their forums, explaining what an awful design decision they made.

  9. [...] I’ve been a long time user of bloglines but I’m always keen on trying new RSS readers in hopes that there will be something better. I had tried Google Reader when it first came out but was quite disappointed with it. Today Google released a complete redesign of their web based reader and my oh my, it seems wonderful so far. They even released a video (following Robert Scoble’s advice I assume) showing it off. Here are some of their new features: [...]

  10. Hi Robert,

    The new Reader has an interface that approximates a River of News style of reading pretty well. Make sure to select “All items” from the top left. It’s a link, so you can drag to the toolbar to have that be the first thing you see when you log in.

    Thanks for your comments. We know there still many things left to do on Reader, especially in the area of integration.

    Mihai Parparita
    Google Reader Engineer

  11. Hi Robert,

    The new Reader has an interface that approximates a River of News style of reading pretty well. Make sure to select “All items” from the top left. It’s a link, so you can drag to the toolbar to have that be the first thing you see when you log in.

    Thanks for your comments. We know there still many things left to do on Reader, especially in the area of integration.

    Mihai Parparita
    Google Reader Engineer

  12. Also, looks like the RSS feeds update faster.
    My personal Digg.com RSS feed in Google Reader updated after about 10 to 15 minutes … seemed to take longer in earlier versions.

  13. Also, looks like the RSS feeds update faster.
    My personal Digg.com RSS feed in Google Reader updated after about 10 to 15 minutes … seemed to take longer in earlier versions.

  14. Robert, not sure if this function was always there, but have you streamed a podcast from a feed yet? The Google media interface appears when there’s an appropriate enclosure element; tried it this morning and it works well!

  15. Robert, not sure if this function was always there, but have you streamed a podcast from a feed yet? The Google media interface appears when there’s an appropriate enclosure element; tried it this morning and it works well!

  16. The “shared items” thing is kind of pointless IMHO, as it assumes everything you’d want to share is in your feeds. I prefer a more del.icio.us like approach, where I can share anything I find on the web. Now, if Google would build out it’s bookmarks into a real service and combine the two, then they might have something.

    As far as Google Blog Search – I think maybe that’s another product that just isn’t there. I don’t get the “Search failed!” errors I get in Technorati, but Google’s Blog Search is spammier and I don’t feel like I get the same quality of results. (Hint to Google: Buy Technorati)

    I agree that Feed Reading+Blog/News Search+Social Bookmarking would be a killer combination though – maybe we’ll yet see that level of integration.

  17. The “shared items” thing is kind of pointless IMHO, as it assumes everything you’d want to share is in your feeds. I prefer a more del.icio.us like approach, where I can share anything I find on the web. Now, if Google would build out it’s bookmarks into a real service and combine the two, then they might have something.

    As far as Google Blog Search – I think maybe that’s another product that just isn’t there. I don’t get the “Search failed!” errors I get in Technorati, but Google’s Blog Search is spammier and I don’t feel like I get the same quality of results. (Hint to Google: Buy Technorati)

    I agree that Feed Reading+Blog/News Search+Social Bookmarking would be a killer combination though – maybe we’ll yet see that level of integration.

  18. [...] Google launched a major revamp of their online RSS-reader earlier today. while the initial product has been critizied among the blogosphere for being somewhat half-hearted, this release seems to get it right (see TechCrunch or Scoble). new features include counters for unread messages, folder-based navigation, continuous scrolling (this one is cool!) and easy sharing of feeds. (smart-)phone users should check out the mobile version at http://www.google.com/reader/m which aggregates all feeds into one river-of-news. [...]

  19. I don’t understand this “river of news” thing.

    Do you really have equal interest in all your feeds? I don’t, I find some more interesting than others, so read them often while letting less interesting feeds fill up until I feel like taking a look.

    I wouldn’t want posts from dead interesting blogs getting mixed in with *everything” from Slashdot, for instance.

  20. I don’t understand this “river of news” thing.

    Do you really have equal interest in all your feeds? I don’t, I find some more interesting than others, so read them often while letting less interesting feeds fill up until I feel like taking a look.

    I wouldn’t want posts from dead interesting blogs getting mixed in with *everything” from Slashdot, for instance.

  21. The Great Eric,
    The solution you are looking for is, of course, to have your Del.icio.us feed be one of the feeds in your Google Reader. Then anything you have bookmarked in Del.icio.us (anything not marked Private anyway) can be reshared from Google Reader to give you an all-in-one solution.

  22. The Great Eric,
    The solution you are looking for is, of course, to have your Del.icio.us feed be one of the feeds in your Google Reader. Then anything you have bookmarked in Del.icio.us (anything not marked Private anyway) can be reshared from Google Reader to give you an all-in-one solution.

  23. After having loaded all 160 feeds into my reader and waiting a couple of days so that articles could accumulate, I have to say the load time is now attrocious.

    You cannot guarantee that you will be able to read your feeds every day, so this is a good simulation of what a skipped day might look like. Also, a good reader should be able to break the data up into usable chunks, where instead it seems to be loading up more than it needs for the moment. All I have for the past 5 minutes is the animated Loading… message. Wheeee!

    I’m going to see if I can add UI improvements on my offering to see if the prettier interface attracts more users.

  24. After having loaded all 160 feeds into my reader and waiting a couple of days so that articles could accumulate, I have to say the load time is now attrocious.

    You cannot guarantee that you will be able to read your feeds every day, so this is a good simulation of what a skipped day might look like. Also, a good reader should be able to break the data up into usable chunks, where instead it seems to be loading up more than it needs for the moment. All I have for the past 5 minutes is the animated Loading… message. Wheeee!

    I’m going to see if I can add UI improvements on my offering to see if the prettier interface attracts more users.