7,200 Google Reader lockins

A few people have been asking me to try out Bloglines (which just got a nice update) and NewsGator (which also just got a nice update).

Both of these are very capable news readers. Both of them arguably have some things that are a lot better than Google Reader. So what do I say when people want me to switch my reader away from Google Reader?

I answer “it’s too late.”

Why?

I have about 7,200 reasons. All in my link blog. (UPDATE: earlier I said I had 300,000 readsons, but I’ve gone through about 300,000 items to find about 7,200 items).

Oh, and a few more rumored to be on the way.

Anyway, for the past year now I’ve been reading tons of feeds (I’m up to 832 now) and I’ve been putting about 600 posts a month into my link blog.

That is turning into an awesome database for doing research on. Especially now that I have search. Here’s some tips on how to use search for my link blog.

It has almost no noise, just much of the best blogging that’s been done over the past year in the technology field. But, whenever I think about moving feeds to a new reader I start thinking of that database and start thinking about the value it has to me as a way to search back on what caught my eye over the past year.

I’m locked into Google. Big time.

What keeps you locked into your feed reader?

Oh, here’s some other interesting numbers about Google Reader.

Comments

  1. There’s something abot bloglines that hopes it does it better one day – but I must admit, the addition of the search box in G-reader has locked me in now. From a productivity point of view, it kills it over the rest.

    What I will say however is that that database could be the reason I leave Google. All that attention data – the abilty to export it – could be a battleground in the future.

  2. There’s something abot bloglines that hopes it does it better one day – but I must admit, the addition of the search box in G-reader has locked me in now. From a productivity point of view, it kills it over the rest.

    What I will say however is that that database could be the reason I leave Google. All that attention data – the abilty to export it – could be a battleground in the future.

  3. Posting 30,000 items a month means an average of a thousand per day, right? But you only have 832 feeds.

    So, assuming each of those 832 feeds updates every day, does this mean you actually post every single item from every single feed you read, plus some duplicates?

    I’m impressed!

  4. Posting 30,000 items a month means an average of a thousand per day, right? But you only have 832 feeds.

    So, assuming each of those 832 feeds updates every day, does this mean you actually post every single item from every single feed you read, plus some duplicates?

    I’m impressed!

  5. You’re forgetting a few things.

    1) Some of my feeds actually have thousands of bloggers on them. Especially blogs.msdn.com.
    2) Many of the feeds publish multiple items per day. Engadget, for instance.
    3) I made a mistake. I’ve been sharing about 60 items a day.

    Here’s what Google Reader says:

    From your 840 subscriptions, over the last 30 days you read 21,517 items, starred 0 items, shared 546 items, and emailed 0 items.

    And that’s the low water mark for months lately. Usually I read 32,000 items and share more than 700.

  6. You’re forgetting a few things.

    1) Some of my feeds actually have thousands of bloggers on them. Especially blogs.msdn.com.
    2) Many of the feeds publish multiple items per day. Engadget, for instance.
    3) I made a mistake. I’ve been sharing about 60 items a day.

    Here’s what Google Reader says:

    From your 840 subscriptions, over the last 30 days you read 21,517 items, starred 0 items, shared 546 items, and emailed 0 items.

    And that’s the low water mark for months lately. Usually I read 32,000 items and share more than 700.

  7. Using the same logic you could also argue that your feed reader app needs to be in hands you know will be around well into the future. You’ve made an investment that has switching and greater risk relative to what you have. I don’t think any of the feed readers you mentioned are at much risk but it is certain that Google is going to not only be around but continue to invest.

    If I had to guess this is probably similar to your reasons behind your decision to use Flickr as opposed to Zoomr even though you might prefer to support them.

  8. Using the same logic you could also argue that your feed reader app needs to be in hands you know will be around well into the future. You’ve made an investment that has switching and greater risk relative to what you have. I don’t think any of the feed readers you mentioned are at much risk but it is certain that Google is going to not only be around but continue to invest.

    If I had to guess this is probably similar to your reasons behind your decision to use Flickr as opposed to Zoomr even though you might prefer to support them.

  9. Its definitely the best way for a linkblog, but wouldn’t it be good for you to specify an address that you can share your link blog? something like http://www.XXX.com/linkblog

    It must only be a setting? or a tweak?

    Anyway I use Google Reader because I like the Google product set, and feel that they are the only company going into the future that can look after what I want them to look after.. mail / calendar / search / feed reader and hopefully a decent address book and to do will be coming out soon!

  10. Its definitely the best way for a linkblog, but wouldn’t it be good for you to specify an address that you can share your link blog? something like http://www.XXX.com/linkblog

    It must only be a setting? or a tweak?

    Anyway I use Google Reader because I like the Google product set, and feel that they are the only company going into the future that can look after what I want them to look after.. mail / calendar / search / feed reader and hopefully a decent address book and to do will be coming out soon!

  11. but are you really locked in? Your link blog is published as rss so you could put it somewhere else pretty easily.

  12. but are you really locked in? Your link blog is published as rss so you could put it somewhere else pretty easily.

  13. fav.or.it will give you more than 7,200 reasons to move away,

    1. Interacting with your readers, being able to read/reply in one application, the reader acts almost as a chat room.

    2. Slices – Single blog reading is the past, being able to read groups of blogs together, and groups of blogs filtered into our ‘slice’ lets your read the content you want.

    3. Your shared feed is dead, game over, its is no more. Because fav.or.it aggregates the lot, people no longer need to find the best articles through your link blog (I love it at the moment btw.) but fav.or.it lets you find all the content you want without having to search around for the best ‘feeds’.

    4. Dont want to search around? Use our 5 star filter, 5 stars = top 100 blogs, 1 star = top 1,000,000 blogs..

    5. Share a slice! – Found a group of blogs, a combination of tags/categories you like? we turn it into a tinyurl – which can be sent straight to a friend so they can read what you read.

    6. Lots more I cant talk about yet!

  14. fav.or.it will give you more than 7,200 reasons to move away,

    1. Interacting with your readers, being able to read/reply in one application, the reader acts almost as a chat room.

    2. Slices – Single blog reading is the past, being able to read groups of blogs together, and groups of blogs filtered into our ‘slice’ lets your read the content you want.

    3. Your shared feed is dead, game over, its is no more. Because fav.or.it aggregates the lot, people no longer need to find the best articles through your link blog (I love it at the moment btw.) but fav.or.it lets you find all the content you want without having to search around for the best ‘feeds’.

    4. Dont want to search around? Use our 5 star filter, 5 stars = top 100 blogs, 1 star = top 1,000,000 blogs..

    5. Share a slice! – Found a group of blogs, a combination of tags/categories you like? we turn it into a tinyurl – which can be sent straight to a friend so they can read what you read.

    6. Lots more I cant talk about yet!

  15. What keeps me locked in to Bloglines? The mobile version of Bloglines works on the browser I use on my Treo (Xiino). The mobile version of Google Reader does not. Otherwise, I’d switch.

  16. What keeps me locked in to Bloglines? The mobile version of Bloglines works on the browser I use on my Treo (Xiino). The mobile version of Google Reader does not. Otherwise, I’d switch.

  17. Your link blog is available as an rss feed, so it could be imported into another application. What applications out there would allow searching all the content? is fav.or.it one of them?

  18. Your link blog is available as an rss feed, so it could be imported into another application. What applications out there would allow searching all the content? is fav.or.it one of them?

  19. What keeps me locked into my feed reader? (Which is NetNewsWire, a desktop app, but it syncs to NewsGator so I can read everything when I’m away from my Mac) The fact that the developer is a great guy and responds to the needs of his users. Even if I found something that would work a little better, I don’t think I’d switch away from NNW just because I like Brent and want to keep supporting him.

    That said, I tried NetVibes for a while, and it was slow but good. Google Reader completely breaks in OmniWeb (through no fault of Google’s, I’m sure) or I’d probably use it too.

  20. What keeps me locked into my feed reader? (Which is NetNewsWire, a desktop app, but it syncs to NewsGator so I can read everything when I’m away from my Mac) The fact that the developer is a great guy and responds to the needs of his users. Even if I found something that would work a little better, I don’t think I’d switch away from NNW just because I like Brent and want to keep supporting him.

    That said, I tried NetVibes for a while, and it was slow but good. Google Reader completely breaks in OmniWeb (through no fault of Google’s, I’m sure) or I’d probably use it too.

  21. I’m using a FeedBurner feed for my shared items in part because of this. My blog posts and everything I tag in del.ico.us “toshare” are available in http://feeds.feedburner.com/MarshallsBlogAndSharedItems – if I decide to share with something other than del.icio.us later, I can just point my new tool’s rss feed at FeedBurner and not lose any subscribers. The downside is that I don’t get the very pretty interface and stats of google reader sharing, though I suppose I could. I prefer netnewswire, fwiw.

  22. I’m using a FeedBurner feed for my shared items in part because of this. My blog posts and everything I tag in del.ico.us “toshare” are available in http://feeds.feedburner.com/MarshallsBlogAndSharedItems – if I decide to share with something other than del.icio.us later, I can just point my new tool’s rss feed at FeedBurner and not lose any subscribers. The downside is that I don’t get the very pretty interface and stats of google reader sharing, though I suppose I could. I prefer netnewswire, fwiw.

  23. I love the NewsGator (and on my Mac – NetNewsWire) product. While I’m not up to your number of feeds (I’m only at 116), my feeds generate about 2000 posts a day. You’re inspiring me to look beyond personal use and see how I can work it into my social media strategy (sharing).

    I did look at Google Reader this weekend – but, like you, I’m too invested in my system to even contemplate a switch.

  24. I love the NewsGator (and on my Mac – NetNewsWire) product. While I’m not up to your number of feeds (I’m only at 116), my feeds generate about 2000 posts a day. You’re inspiring me to look beyond personal use and see how I can work it into my social media strategy (sharing).

    I did look at Google Reader this weekend – but, like you, I’m too invested in my system to even contemplate a switch.

  25. I’m still using Google ’cause I’m too lazy to change.. I’ve only got a fraction of the feeds you do, but still, it’s a PITA.

    Plus, from what I remember, google had the best interface. (Haven’t seen blogline’s makeover, though)

    -A

  26. I’m still using Google ’cause I’m too lazy to change.. I’ve only got a fraction of the feeds you do, but still, it’s a PITA.

    Plus, from what I remember, google had the best interface. (Haven’t seen blogline’s makeover, though)

    -A

  27. I first tried Google Reader when it came out, and it wasn’t so great. I’ve heard it’s a whole lot better, but I’m still on Bloglines (even though I am a great Google fan). I guess I just don’t have any incentive to switch – especially since I am not sure how to export all the blogs I subscribe to out of Bloglines and how to import. If Google *marketed* why one should switch and how, then maybe I would consider.

  28. I first tried Google Reader when it came out, and it wasn’t so great. I’ve heard it’s a whole lot better, but I’m still on Bloglines (even though I am a great Google fan). I guess I just don’t have any incentive to switch – especially since I am not sure how to export all the blogs I subscribe to out of Bloglines and how to import. If Google *marketed* why one should switch and how, then maybe I would consider.

  29. Is a Social Graph Without the Social Objects Worth Anything? (Musings on Lock-In)

    There has been a huge amount of activity on the web having to do with creating Open Social Networks.  A good set of links to give a deep overview of where this stands would be:

    Brad Fitzpatrick’s Thoughts on the Social Graph
    Bill of Rights for Use…

  30. I use NetNewsWire because I prefer to use a desktop application rather than read news online. I find that I can go through hundreds of unread items a lot faster in NetNewsWire than anything else.

    I can’t stand NewsGator online, though. I really wish NNW could sync with Google Reader instead.

  31. I use NetNewsWire because I prefer to use a desktop application rather than read news online. I find that I can go through hundreds of unread items a lot faster in NetNewsWire than anything else.

    I can’t stand NewsGator online, though. I really wish NNW could sync with Google Reader instead.

  32. I am locked into Netvibes for far superior user interface and more efficient use of screen real estate.
    Hopefully we’ll get share-able Universes (similar to fav.or.it slices which I’m also trying) soon.

  33. I am locked into Netvibes for far superior user interface and more efficient use of screen real estate.
    Hopefully we’ll get share-able Universes (similar to fav.or.it slices which I’m also trying) soon.

  34. Scoble, reading your post and particularly the “awesome database for doing research” and “almost no noise”, made me immediately think of Mahalo. You’re effectively adding the human filter to what you get from your reader.

  35. Scoble, reading your post and particularly the “awesome database for doing research” and “almost no noise”, made me immediately think of Mahalo. You’re effectively adding the human filter to what you get from your reader.

  36. It’s too bad Google has your database of knowledge and doesn’t let you take that with you, Robert :( Sure you can take the export of the feed URLs themselves, but the database stays with Google.

    That’s the #1 reason I don’t use Google Reader (nor the other online readers) as a primary reader and instead prefer to use an RSS reader on one of our own servers with a database that I can mine for data and research without any limits — offline or online :)

  37. It’s too bad Google has your database of knowledge and doesn’t let you take that with you, Robert :( Sure you can take the export of the feed URLs themselves, but the database stays with Google.

    That’s the #1 reason I don’t use Google Reader (nor the other online readers) as a primary reader and instead prefer to use an RSS reader on one of our own servers with a database that I can mine for data and research without any limits — offline or online :)

  38. I read this post when you wrote it, but just now, after a google search on syncing NetNessWire with Google Reader and reading comment #22, decided to comment.

    ive been using GR ever since it first came out and I love it! But having given a look into Nnw ive found great usefulness in a lot of its features… But Id like to be able to sync it with GR as it still is my fav web interface.. although an iPhone version is DESPERATELY needed IMO!!

    Cheers

  39. I read this post when you wrote it, but just now, after a google search on syncing NetNessWire with Google Reader and reading comment #22, decided to comment.

    ive been using GR ever since it first came out and I love it! But having given a look into Nnw ive found great usefulness in a lot of its features… But Id like to be able to sync it with GR as it still is my fav web interface.. although an iPhone version is DESPERATELY needed IMO!!

    Cheers

  40. Sorry for the typos!! The iPhone borked the textbox (the left half of it was blank although the words were being written under it… and it’s happening again… ARGH :/

    I know I’ve been “power using” the iPhone these last few days (no laptop right now, so no computer outside the office) but I’ve found sooo many bugs and crashes… grrr
    ;)

  41. Sorry for the typos!! The iPhone borked the textbox (the left half of it was blank although the words were being written under it… and it’s happening again… ARGH :/

    I know I’ve been “power using” the iPhone these last few days (no laptop right now, so no computer outside the office) but I’ve found sooo many bugs and crashes… grrr
    ;)