Google Reader behind?

Steve Bryant, over on Google Watch, says that Google Reader is behind, and is slower than, Bloglines.

Um, that’s like saying that personal computers were behind mainframes in 1977. Yes, they were, but that isn’t what matters.

Instead, look at the growth rates of both readers. Google’s growing a lot faster here.

Regarding speed? I use Google Reader with Firefox 2.0. It’s slower on IE. I wonder which browser Steve was using.

I read more than 29,000 items in the past 30 days with Google Reader. If it’s fast enough for me, it probably is fast enough for you. Not to mention that Google Reader lets me share RSS items with all of you on my link blog.

And, the keyboard shortcuts that Google Reader uses are wonderful. Some tips, for new Google Reader users. “J” key goes to next post. I can’t believe I’ve hit the J key 29,000 times in the past month. Whew. “K” goes backward. “Shift-S” shares an item on your link blog. “U” gets rid of the navigation stuff. Make sure in preferences to set Google Reader to read all items by default. That way when you visit http://reader.google.com all you’ll have to do is start hitting the “J” key to go through every new post that you’ve subscribed to.

What do you think? How does Google Reader stack up in your feed reading behavior?

Comments

  1. I totally agree with Steve that Google Reader is slower. As the reading panel starts filling up with more items (since it progressively loads) you’ll find that it gets slower to move to the next item (I use FF 2.0, just like you).

    I actually posted more of my take on Google Reader on my blog.

  2. I totally agree with Steve that Google Reader is slower. As the reading panel starts filling up with more items (since it progressively loads) you’ll find that it gets slower to move to the next item (I use FF 2.0, just like you).

    I actually posted more of my take on Google Reader on my blog.

  3. Ryan: actually, Google Reader loads 20 items at a time. I read about 1,500 items every evening. I find that it’s fast going through 20, then hesitates a little bit to load the next 20. Yeah, it’d be nice to be faster, but truth be told, where it hesitates I just go back and read more carefully. Going backward is always fast, and going forward through items that are already cached is always fast. At least in my experience.

  4. Ryan: actually, Google Reader loads 20 items at a time. I read about 1,500 items every evening. I find that it’s fast going through 20, then hesitates a little bit to load the next 20. Yeah, it’d be nice to be faster, but truth be told, where it hesitates I just go back and read more carefully. Going backward is always fast, and going forward through items that are already cached is always fast. At least in my experience.

  5. I believe nothing is faster than a desktop newsreader ( I use Netnewswire). And you can read offline too.

  6. I believe nothing is faster than a desktop newsreader ( I use Netnewswire). And you can read offline too.

  7. Mathieu: that is true! I used to use Newsgator, which is sold by the same company that does Netnewswire.

    Now that I have a mac I’ll have to check into Netnewswire. Although my link blog is going to make it hard to change to any other reader.

  8. Mathieu: that is true! I used to use Newsgator, which is sold by the same company that does Netnewswire.

    Now that I have a mac I’ll have to check into Netnewswire. Although my link blog is going to make it hard to change to any other reader.

  9. It is like comparing googlemail to outlook. Both are great but a desktop app for something you use A LOT will always be better than a web based solution, no matter how well designed it is.

  10. It is like comparing googlemail to outlook. Both are great but a desktop app for something you use A LOT will always be better than a web based solution, no matter how well designed it is.

  11. Google Reader can definitely slow down with a large feed.

    I think it still lacks the polish that Gmail has, but I have faith that in time Google Reader will be perfected.

  12. Google Reader can definitely slow down with a large feed.

    I think it still lacks the polish that Gmail has, but I have faith that in time Google Reader will be perfected.

  13. I’ve been hooked on Google Reader for about 2-3 months now. Use of Newsgator has ceased. It’s more than fast enough on a broadband or 3g phone connection. The main benefits are easy and fit-for-purpose interface and functionality. It just works.

  14. I’ve been hooked on Google Reader for about 2-3 months now. Use of Newsgator has ceased. It’s more than fast enough on a broadband or 3g phone connection. The main benefits are easy and fit-for-purpose interface and functionality. It just works.

  15. Google Reader is definitely slower than Bloglines. I’m hoping that will be tweaked, though, because I really do like the Share feature and reading my feeds as a river rather than by individual feed like Bloglines does.

    Where I really enjoy Google reader is on my phone when I’m waiting for an appointment or something…it’s so handy just to load it up and start reading. I’m not in love with my phone by any stretch, but at least it comes in handy when nothing better is available.

  16. Google Reader is definitely slower than Bloglines. I’m hoping that will be tweaked, though, because I really do like the Share feature and reading my feeds as a river rather than by individual feed like Bloglines does.

    Where I really enjoy Google reader is on my phone when I’m waiting for an appointment or something…it’s so handy just to load it up and start reading. I’m not in love with my phone by any stretch, but at least it comes in handy when nothing better is available.

  17. And by the way, desktop readers don’t let you read from work and from home and from your phone and remember what you’ve read no matter where you read it.

  18. And by the way, desktop readers don’t let you read from work and from home and from your phone and remember what you’ve read no matter where you read it.

  19. I totally agree Scoble. Now the only problem I have is when “J” and “K” don’t work on regular pages.

  20. I totally agree Scoble. Now the only problem I have is when “J” and “K” don’t work on regular pages.

  21. I think it’s the best right now. Fast and has the features where you expect them.

    Better, it does cache blog items making it less a pain for blog hosting providers. Caveat : a lot of trend/profile power is being sent to Google.

    Have you noticed how useless is the tree view?

    In fact, where it shines is in its ability to decrease the number of clicks and actions.

    Where it could be better though :
    - the obvious one : provide a full Google Reader experience when clicking a link. I want Google to transform the link to a temporary RSS feed for me and make me read. No reason why the burden should be on readers with them forced to visit web pages. Caveat : those who have ads and other widgets on their blogs might not like this idea.
    - improve speed for adding a subscription
    - auto-update the main view when new items arrive (perhaps I haven’t set the right option, but I find myself often clicking the browser’s Refresh button)
    - add Ajax sticky notes to shared items
    - allow shared items to be split in more than one blog. I’d like, under the same umbrella, to share “professional” items, and “personal” items

  22. I think it’s the best right now. Fast and has the features where you expect them.

    Better, it does cache blog items making it less a pain for blog hosting providers. Caveat : a lot of trend/profile power is being sent to Google.

    Have you noticed how useless is the tree view?

    In fact, where it shines is in its ability to decrease the number of clicks and actions.

    Where it could be better though :
    - the obvious one : provide a full Google Reader experience when clicking a link. I want Google to transform the link to a temporary RSS feed for me and make me read. No reason why the burden should be on readers with them forced to visit web pages. Caveat : those who have ads and other widgets on their blogs might not like this idea.
    - improve speed for adding a subscription
    - auto-update the main view when new items arrive (perhaps I haven’t set the right option, but I find myself often clicking the browser’s Refresh button)
    - add Ajax sticky notes to shared items
    - allow shared items to be split in more than one blog. I’d like, under the same umbrella, to share “professional” items, and “personal” items

  23. When I switched to Google Reader, I noticed that it took longer for it to show new entries than Bloglines did. I didn’t get to do tests recently but I think it’s getting better. As for performance on the browser, it does feel slower. Maybe because Bloglines uses framesets.

  24. When I switched to Google Reader, I noticed that it took longer for it to show new entries than Bloglines did. I didn’t get to do tests recently but I think it’s getting better. As for performance on the browser, it does feel slower. Maybe because Bloglines uses framesets.

  25. The reason I use Google Reader now is because it has a bigger role to play I believe. I am writing on my blog about how it will become an “Attention Recorder” which is not a new thought but I think Google itself is going to become an attention company and move from search to discovery.

    Google already records my Reader attention and then allows me to see this in the new Reader trends. Google also records my attention with the Bookmark/Search trends. All that is missing for me is the Gmail/Gtalk trends – who I emailed/called most, what time of day, how many emails/messages etc.

    If all of this data were then to be combined into a new “My Google Analytics” then it would show me a single view of my attention.

    Now if Google supported OPenID I could login with my Google ID and it allow Google to also track my website visits/attention/behaviour logged.

    IF I gave Google permission to do all of this and trusted them not to be evil with my data then two things might happen.

    1. Adverts on sites I visit will no longer have to be contextual but based on my attention and therefore more relevant to me.

    2. Searches on Google.com would also be more relevant if linked to my attention as Google could also make suggestions. i.e both a search and discovery engine

    This of course requires Google to develop a new Attention algorithm to analyse all of my data in realtime and provide me with more relevant in formation, adverts, suggestions (Google already has a suggestion plugin today based on my searches)

    So that’s why I think Google IMHO will develop into an attention recorder.

    This could develop further with Google adding in presence with attention + location based services. i.e PAL’s

  26. The reason I use Google Reader now is because it has a bigger role to play I believe. I am writing on my blog about how it will become an “Attention Recorder” which is not a new thought but I think Google itself is going to become an attention company and move from search to discovery.

    Google already records my Reader attention and then allows me to see this in the new Reader trends. Google also records my attention with the Bookmark/Search trends. All that is missing for me is the Gmail/Gtalk trends – who I emailed/called most, what time of day, how many emails/messages etc.

    If all of this data were then to be combined into a new “My Google Analytics” then it would show me a single view of my attention.

    Now if Google supported OPenID I could login with my Google ID and it allow Google to also track my website visits/attention/behaviour logged.

    IF I gave Google permission to do all of this and trusted them not to be evil with my data then two things might happen.

    1. Adverts on sites I visit will no longer have to be contextual but based on my attention and therefore more relevant to me.

    2. Searches on Google.com would also be more relevant if linked to my attention as Google could also make suggestions. i.e both a search and discovery engine

    This of course requires Google to develop a new Attention algorithm to analyse all of my data in realtime and provide me with more relevant in formation, adverts, suggestions (Google already has a suggestion plugin today based on my searches)

    So that’s why I think Google IMHO will develop into an attention recorder.

    This could develop further with Google adding in presence with attention + location based services. i.e PAL’s

  27. I haven’t used Bloglines yet, but I am hooked on Google reader. I am subscribed to more feeds than I have ever been, and when it’s slow at work, I’ll read them. The problem is that it’s so fast, I have even more slow time than I did before…

    But Google reader rocks.

  28. I haven’t used Bloglines yet, but I am hooked on Google reader. I am subscribed to more feeds than I have ever been, and when it’s slow at work, I’ll read them. The problem is that it’s so fast, I have even more slow time than I did before…

    But Google reader rocks.

  29. All the things you mention in this post are things Bloglines does and has done for a long time (with the exception of “load all”).

    I don’t find Google Reader to be better by leaps and bounds over Bloglines, though it is better than it was when I wrote my google reader vs. bloglines post.

    When it gets leaps and bounds better I will give it another try. So in that sense keep writing about it so I know when to go back. :)

  30. All the things you mention in this post are things Bloglines does and has done for a long time (with the exception of “load all”).

    I don’t find Google Reader to be better by leaps and bounds over Bloglines, though it is better than it was when I wrote my google reader vs. bloglines post.

    When it gets leaps and bounds better I will give it another try. So in that sense keep writing about it so I know when to go back. :)

  31. *ALL* of these services are slow because of the thousands of feeds that must be checked hourly. If they even check hourly anymore. If you have access to your own *AMP server, your best bet is to get something like MonkeyChow, Feed On Feeds, or Gregarius and check feeds on your own schedule. And since they are open, you can contribute whatever you feel they are behind on.

  32. I use the spacebar too. This also solves Brklynsurfer’s problem since spacebar works on other websites.

    Bloglines does pick-up new posts faster than Reader, but the other features make Reader worth it.

  33. *ALL* of these services are slow because of the thousands of feeds that must be checked hourly. If they even check hourly anymore. If you have access to your own *AMP server, your best bet is to get something like MonkeyChow, Feed On Feeds, or Gregarius and check feeds on your own schedule. And since they are open, you can contribute whatever you feel they are behind on.

  34. I use the spacebar too. This also solves Brklynsurfer’s problem since spacebar works on other websites.

    Bloglines does pick-up new posts faster than Reader, but the other features make Reader worth it.

  35. As with the growing trend, I agree that Google Reader is slower and sometimes it can get really bad. For the initial 20 it is OK, but after it has to read in the next 20 it can get really slow. I also use Firefox 2.0.0.1 on Windows and Linux. Believe it or not though I have seen Google Reader go slightly faster on the Vista version of IE7. Maybe you should run some stats on this or hopefully Google will read this and try and improve Google Reader.

    I love the shortcuts also and being able to share feeds. I did like how bloglines would show you who also was reading the feeds.

  36. As with the growing trend, I agree that Google Reader is slower and sometimes it can get really bad. For the initial 20 it is OK, but after it has to read in the next 20 it can get really slow. I also use Firefox 2.0.0.1 on Windows and Linux. Believe it or not though I have seen Google Reader go slightly faster on the Vista version of IE7. Maybe you should run some stats on this or hopefully Google will read this and try and improve Google Reader.

    I love the shortcuts also and being able to share feeds. I did like how bloglines would show you who also was reading the feeds.

  37. I was a Bloglines user but i switched to reader. Then i missed the searching features, the speed and the mobile experience. I’m back on bloglines now.

    Steve

  38. I was a Bloglines user but i switched to reader. Then i missed the searching features, the speed and the mobile experience. I’m back on bloglines now.

    Steve

  39. For me, the two features that make Google a hands-down winner are the link sharing and server-based operation. I frequently read news items on multiple computers, including Windows and Linux, so having a server-based reader that shows me items that reflect what I’ve read elsewhere is priceless.

    You know all about link sharing, obviously, and that, too is very, very cool. I use tags a lot, too. Right now, I’d say the biggest thing missing from link sharing is the ability to jot a comment when I’m sharing; ie, why do I think this item is interesting.

  40. For me, the two features that make Google a hands-down winner are the link sharing and server-based operation. I frequently read news items on multiple computers, including Windows and Linux, so having a server-based reader that shows me items that reflect what I’ve read elsewhere is priceless.

    You know all about link sharing, obviously, and that, too is very, very cool. I use tags a lot, too. Right now, I’d say the biggest thing missing from link sharing is the ability to jot a comment when I’m sharing; ie, why do I think this item is interesting.

  41. The only reason I don’t use Google Reader now is that I need a reader that is installed locally so that I can subscribe to feeds on the intranet (and whose content cannot seen from an externally hosted site). Is there a solution to this problem? I would love to use Google Reader.

  42. The only reason I don’t use Google Reader now is that I need a reader that is installed locally so that I can subscribe to feeds on the intranet (and whose content cannot seen from an externally hosted site). Is there a solution to this problem? I would love to use Google Reader.

  43. I’ve tried three times to switch from Bloglines to Google Reader. I like the river concept so much, but Reader just seems so much slower to me. The initial load time is what bugs me. With Bloglines, I’m readering feeds usually inside 2 seconds. I just hit Reader and it was about 6-7 before a feed showed up.

    My biggest hope at this point is that Bloglines will implement a river-like feature.

  44. I’ve tried three times to switch from Bloglines to Google Reader. I like the river concept so much, but Reader just seems so much slower to me. The initial load time is what bugs me. With Bloglines, I’m readering feeds usually inside 2 seconds. I just hit Reader and it was about 6-7 before a feed showed up.

    My biggest hope at this point is that Bloglines will implement a river-like feature.

  45. I was using both Bloglines and Google reader side by side for a while, since I was familiar with bloglines. I was just so much faster in Reader. NO speed issues here (and I have a lot of feeds). I just don’t like the Bloglines user experience as much.

  46. I was using both Bloglines and Google reader side by side for a while, since I was familiar with bloglines. I was just so much faster in Reader. NO speed issues here (and I have a lot of feeds). I just don’t like the Bloglines user experience as much.

  47. Actually, it is slower and faster:

    - much slower to refresh updated feeds. I run it side by side with bloglines and new items are often 15-20 minutes slower to be picked up on google. If I wasn’t doing the comparison it probably would not bother me, but it does because I know it is slower.

    - much slower on handheld devices. Using it on a blackberry is poor compared to bloglines. Pity because gmail on a handheld is great.

    - much faster when it comes to the ability to be able to read/navigate. I find the google interface and shortcuts much more effective for managing feeds.

    So google is good, but still needs to catch bloglines in some areas.

  48. Actually, it is slower and faster:

    - much slower to refresh updated feeds. I run it side by side with bloglines and new items are often 15-20 minutes slower to be picked up on google. If I wasn’t doing the comparison it probably would not bother me, but it does because I know it is slower.

    - much slower on handheld devices. Using it on a blackberry is poor compared to bloglines. Pity because gmail on a handheld is great.

    - much faster when it comes to the ability to be able to read/navigate. I find the google interface and shortcuts much more effective for managing feeds.

    So google is good, but still needs to catch bloglines in some areas.

  49. I agree with Matthew in that Google Reader isn’t leaps and bounds better than Bloglines. The only killer feature I see is the “mark items read as you scroll by” feature. That is the one that has made me switch to Google Reader, simply because when I read a feed like Digg in Bloglines, I feel compelled to scroll through the whole list, which is often 200 items long. In Google Reader, I can “commit” to reading that feed without worrying about only reading the first 10 or 20 posts and then moving on to another feed (the remaining 180-190 will be there next time I “commit”). I’ve written more about this over at my blog.

  50. I agree with Matthew in that Google Reader isn’t leaps and bounds better than Bloglines. The only killer feature I see is the “mark items read as you scroll by” feature. That is the one that has made me switch to Google Reader, simply because when I read a feed like Digg in Bloglines, I feel compelled to scroll through the whole list, which is often 200 items long. In Google Reader, I can “commit” to reading that feed without worrying about only reading the first 10 or 20 posts and then moving on to another feed (the remaining 180-190 will be there next time I “commit”). I’ve written more about this over at my blog.

  51. Google Reader is slower on IE. The more items that get loaded in a single feed, the slower IE gets. Clicking to a different feed resets the performance. Firefox seems to be just as fast in a feed with 5 items as one with 100+

  52. Google Reader is slower on IE. The more items that get loaded in a single feed, the slower IE gets. Clicking to a different feed resets the performance. Firefox seems to be just as fast in a feed with 5 items as one with 100+

  53. I can’t say whether GR is slower or faster than other online feed readers but it is definitely far more efficient than my previous offline readers even though the feed refresh may be slower. Google Reader trends tells me that I’ve read ~17000 items in the last 30 days. Guessing that there is somewhere between 100 and 200 words in each of those that means I’ve read something over 1.5 million words via the GR interface in that period. That’s equivalent to about 15 novels. I don’t have stats from my older reader to compare directly to but looking at my old OPML file I had far fewer subscriptions (a third) and my memory of them is that they published (far) fewer items. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m now reading four or five times as much via GR than any other way (including all forms of dead tree printing) and I count myself as a voracious reader. The reason for this is that the interface makes reading easy and pleasant.

    That said there are some areas where GR needs development:
    Search and filters – including dynamic labelling.
    Labeling improvements – more power to the label.
    Removal of duplicates.
    Reader Mobile I – it’s compact and efficient but it needs some more polish for ease of use.
    Stats – I’d like to see this opened up for mashups.
    Recommendations – match my reading preferences with others to recommend new feeds.

  54. I can’t say whether GR is slower or faster than other online feed readers but it is definitely far more efficient than my previous offline readers even though the feed refresh may be slower. Google Reader trends tells me that I’ve read ~17000 items in the last 30 days. Guessing that there is somewhere between 100 and 200 words in each of those that means I’ve read something over 1.5 million words via the GR interface in that period. That’s equivalent to about 15 novels. I don’t have stats from my older reader to compare directly to but looking at my old OPML file I had far fewer subscriptions (a third) and my memory of them is that they published (far) fewer items. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m now reading four or five times as much via GR than any other way (including all forms of dead tree printing) and I count myself as a voracious reader. The reason for this is that the interface makes reading easy and pleasant.

    That said there are some areas where GR needs development:
    Search and filters – including dynamic labelling.
    Labeling improvements – more power to the label.
    Removal of duplicates.
    Reader Mobile I – it’s compact and efficient but it needs some more polish for ease of use.
    Stats – I’d like to see this opened up for mashups.
    Recommendations – match my reading preferences with others to recommend new feeds.

  55. I recently decided to try Google Reader for 1 week after using Bloglines for over 2.5 years.

    I went back to Bloglines for a few reasons: 1) Google Reader page load/refresh was slow, I have a FiOS connection, and if I notice slowness, that is annoying. Plus the new item identifiers in the subscription pane don’t seem to refresh as quickly as in Bloglines. 2) Time and Updated posts, Bloglines shows the original post date and an updated post date if necessary, Reader doesn’t. In addition Reader doesn’t pick up all updated posts, for example on my blog after the national championship game I updated a post from early December, Bloglines displayed it as a updated item, Reader didn’t show it at all. If Reader misses updated posts, is it reliable? 3) I didn’t think their was enough ui distinction between items, and hard for me to follow. Bloglines changes item background colors, Google Reader only changed the color (not significantly either) of item title and item border. 4) Subscription & Management, Reader contains extra steps to subscribe when using the Firefox feed icon, and the feed management page feels unorganized and hard to use for me. (Drag & Drop in Bloglines)

    Those were some of the big things, imo, there are other nit picky items, that also caused me to go back. Maybe I have just grown attached to bloglines, but if I can’t get comfortable with a RSS Reader in 7 days, it’s just not going to work for me.

    Overall, I do like the Google Reader interface, if they sped things up and tweaked some of the colors a little but, I’d probably switch.

    Also Bloglines has the j,k,s keyboard shortcuts, so that is not unique to Reader. They don’t have a decent link blog or any trends feature, but those were not important to me, although trends would be nice.

  56. I recently decided to try Google Reader for 1 week after using Bloglines for over 2.5 years.

    I went back to Bloglines for a few reasons: 1) Google Reader page load/refresh was slow, I have a FiOS connection, and if I notice slowness, that is annoying. Plus the new item identifiers in the subscription pane don’t seem to refresh as quickly as in Bloglines. 2) Time and Updated posts, Bloglines shows the original post date and an updated post date if necessary, Reader doesn’t. In addition Reader doesn’t pick up all updated posts, for example on my blog after the national championship game I updated a post from early December, Bloglines displayed it as a updated item, Reader didn’t show it at all. If Reader misses updated posts, is it reliable? 3) I didn’t think their was enough ui distinction between items, and hard for me to follow. Bloglines changes item background colors, Google Reader only changed the color (not significantly either) of item title and item border. 4) Subscription & Management, Reader contains extra steps to subscribe when using the Firefox feed icon, and the feed management page feels unorganized and hard to use for me. (Drag & Drop in Bloglines)

    Those were some of the big things, imo, there are other nit picky items, that also caused me to go back. Maybe I have just grown attached to bloglines, but if I can’t get comfortable with a RSS Reader in 7 days, it’s just not going to work for me.

    Overall, I do like the Google Reader interface, if they sped things up and tweaked some of the colors a little but, I’d probably switch.

    Also Bloglines has the j,k,s keyboard shortcuts, so that is not unique to Reader. They don’t have a decent link blog or any trends feature, but those were not important to me, although trends would be nice.

  57. I highly dislike Google Reader.

    After using FeedDemon for years even trying Google Reader was a painful experience and I can only imagine that the people that like it only like it because it’s the only reader they’ve ever tried.

    Reader has nothing to recommend it and I steer everyone I know away from it.

  58. I highly dislike Google Reader.

    After using FeedDemon for years even trying Google Reader was a painful experience and I can only imagine that the people that like it only like it because it’s the only reader they’ve ever tried.

    Reader has nothing to recommend it and I steer everyone I know away from it.

  59. I’m one of the holdouts still on the old (v1) Google Reader.

    Google built a brilliant interface around the “river of news” metaphor, then totally destroyed it when they decided to ripoff bloglines.

    Robert, during your interview with the Reader team, there was a shout-out at the end to us original users who absolutely hate the new interface — telling us to hold on.

    I’m still holding, but it’s getting annoying watching the new features all go to the new version, while I’m still waiting for a basic interface with article titles on the left and story text on the right.

    It’s a far superior way to read feeds, since you can scan titles and article text simultaneously.

  60. I’m one of the holdouts still on the old (v1) Google Reader.

    Google built a brilliant interface around the “river of news” metaphor, then totally destroyed it when they decided to ripoff bloglines.

    Robert, during your interview with the Reader team, there was a shout-out at the end to us original users who absolutely hate the new interface — telling us to hold on.

    I’m still holding, but it’s getting annoying watching the new features all go to the new version, while I’m still waiting for a basic interface with article titles on the left and story text on the right.

    It’s a far superior way to read feeds, since you can scan titles and article text simultaneously.

  61. I’ve been using Google reader for a few months, and I’ve definitely noticed the slowness, in 2 ways. One – on IE7 at least, it leaks memory like a sieve, so if you leave the same browser window up for a few days it becomes unusably sluggish.

    The second thing that I’ve noticed is that on some feeds there are hours, sometimes many hours, between when posts are posted and when they show up in reader.

    I have no idea how often it actually checks them, and there doesn’t seem to be any configuration on it. But I work around these things because I like the interface, and I like the ability to read feeds from multiple PCs and be kept in sync.

  62. I’ve been using Google reader for a few months, and I’ve definitely noticed the slowness, in 2 ways. One – on IE7 at least, it leaks memory like a sieve, so if you leave the same browser window up for a few days it becomes unusably sluggish.

    The second thing that I’ve noticed is that on some feeds there are hours, sometimes many hours, between when posts are posted and when they show up in reader.

    I have no idea how often it actually checks them, and there doesn’t seem to be any configuration on it. But I work around these things because I like the interface, and I like the ability to read feeds from multiple PCs and be kept in sync.

  63. I just went back to try out Bloglines as a comparison.

    Of course Bloglines is faster within each feed, after it loads the feed as a page. But overall which is faster and smoother to the overall user experience? Reader wins hands down.

    But the issue is more one of style I think. Bloglines is probably fine for traditionalist MS Outlook types but the smooth river approach with Reader supplemented by iterative improvements places Reader in a different league.

    And finally, seeing the same think on my 8700, repackaged for that format is sheer joy.

  64. I just went back to try out Bloglines as a comparison.

    Of course Bloglines is faster within each feed, after it loads the feed as a page. But overall which is faster and smoother to the overall user experience? Reader wins hands down.

    But the issue is more one of style I think. Bloglines is probably fine for traditionalist MS Outlook types but the smooth river approach with Reader supplemented by iterative improvements places Reader in a different league.

    And finally, seeing the same think on my 8700, repackaged for that format is sheer joy.

  65. Fast is relative, isn’t it? I, too, love my J, K, Shift-A shortcuts on Google Reader… and I can’t read faster than I can click those keys. So… I’m not sure where speed plays a factor.

  66. Fast is relative, isn’t it? I, too, love my J, K, Shift-A shortcuts on Google Reader… and I can’t read faster than I can click those keys. So… I’m not sure where speed plays a factor.

  67. Google Reader has become a part of my daily life. I’ve read 4,921 items in the last 30 days (I couldn’t fathom 29,000!) I’m with you on the shortcuts – they’re extremely useful. I use “U” for longer posts to stretch out the full potential of my screen, and the “J + K” combination is deadly. I absolutely love everything about it. They’ve almost made it hard for me to find something I would like added to it — which is a tough task when going against any critical RSS consumer.

    And personally, I think Google Reader is extremely fast (I, too, use FF 2.0, though).

  68. Google Reader has become a part of my daily life. I’ve read 4,921 items in the last 30 days (I couldn’t fathom 29,000!) I’m with you on the shortcuts – they’re extremely useful. I use “U” for longer posts to stretch out the full potential of my screen, and the “J + K” combination is deadly. I absolutely love everything about it. They’ve almost made it hard for me to find something I would like added to it — which is a tough task when going against any critical RSS consumer.

    And personally, I think Google Reader is extremely fast (I, too, use FF 2.0, though).

  69. Interesting. Was actually using Google Reader early last year and found it very easy to use. However, this whole “river of information” meme that everyone is pushing started to annoy me. Well the meme didn’t but the reality did.

    What I found was that I was getting lots of feeds from sites that didn’t interested me at that moment and had to skim through them to get to my favourite sites.

    So I swtiched to Netvibes and probably ain’t going back. Sure it’s slower – but you just load it, surf some other pages while your feeds are populating, then come back a couple of minutes later when they are loaded.

    What I love is that I have all the headlines laid out for me so I can pick and choose very easily when scanning the page – and can set up a favourites page with all the feeds I follow religiously (like Mr Scoble’s) ;-)

    It’s also a great way to save sites that you know you’ll will want to visit if you ever get some spare time – great way to bookmark sites.

  70. Interesting. Was actually using Google Reader early last year and found it very easy to use. However, this whole “river of information” meme that everyone is pushing started to annoy me. Well the meme didn’t but the reality did.

    What I found was that I was getting lots of feeds from sites that didn’t interested me at that moment and had to skim through them to get to my favourite sites.

    So I swtiched to Netvibes and probably ain’t going back. Sure it’s slower – but you just load it, surf some other pages while your feeds are populating, then come back a couple of minutes later when they are loaded.

    What I love is that I have all the headlines laid out for me so I can pick and choose very easily when scanning the page – and can set up a favourites page with all the feeds I follow religiously (like Mr Scoble’s) ;-)

    It’s also a great way to save sites that you know you’ll will want to visit if you ever get some spare time – great way to bookmark sites.

  71. Robert,

    I like your blog, but can you try and come up with something else besides Google news?

    I challenge you to go a week on this blog without mentioning Google in any way. Come up with something else, please. I know some of your readers have drank the Google kool-aide, but there are some of us who have not.

    Why not cover IT security for a story or two? Help your readers with something useful. Tell them about what’s happening in the blogosphere in reagrds to security. Link to Hushmail. Do something different.

    I know I’m but one reader, but the Google this, Google that is getting really boring.

    Kudos to you for buying American. I like where Saturn is going, but I don’t like OnStar (GM-wide option). I’m thinking about buying American my next car. I’ve been driving Japanese now for too long.

  72. Robert,

    I like your blog, but can you try and come up with something else besides Google news?

    I challenge you to go a week on this blog without mentioning Google in any way. Come up with something else, please. I know some of your readers have drank the Google kool-aide, but there are some of us who have not.

    Why not cover IT security for a story or two? Help your readers with something useful. Tell them about what’s happening in the blogosphere in reagrds to security. Link to Hushmail. Do something different.

    I know I’m but one reader, but the Google this, Google that is getting really boring.

    Kudos to you for buying American. I like where Saturn is going, but I don’t like OnStar (GM-wide option). I’m thinking about buying American my next car. I’ve been driving Japanese now for too long.

  73. I tried switching to Google Reader a few weeks ago, jealous of its statistics feature. I quickly became sick of how slow it was, loading every 20 items only when I got to them, and not reminding me of the keyboard shortcuts (the way Bloglines does at the bottom of every page). Google Reader will always be slower than Bloglines, because it doesn’t scroll down normally, while Bloglines scrolls as fast as the browser does.

    When I realized Google Reader’s OPML import had missed several folders of my subscriptions, it wasn’t hard for me to decide to switch back to Bloglines. I like Reader, but I work in my RSS reader, and that means speed is key.

  74. I tried switching to Google Reader a few weeks ago, jealous of its statistics feature. I quickly became sick of how slow it was, loading every 20 items only when I got to them, and not reminding me of the keyboard shortcuts (the way Bloglines does at the bottom of every page). Google Reader will always be slower than Bloglines, because it doesn’t scroll down normally, while Bloglines scrolls as fast as the browser does.

    When I realized Google Reader’s OPML import had missed several folders of my subscriptions, it wasn’t hard for me to decide to switch back to Bloglines. I like Reader, but I work in my RSS reader, and that means speed is key.

  75. I tried using Bloglines and I hated it. I love Google Reader. It is the best. The only thing is I wish I could post comments from Google Reader. It is a pain to go to the actual website to post comments. I rarely look at blogs. I just subscribe to them.

    –Ioannus de Verani

  76. I tried using Bloglines and I hated it. I love Google Reader. It is the best. The only thing is I wish I could post comments from Google Reader. It is a pain to go to the actual website to post comments. I rarely look at blogs. I just subscribe to them.

    –Ioannus de Verani

  77. Hey Robert…I’m a lil’ late responding, but FWIW I alternate between using Firefox 2.0 on a PC and Firefox 2.0 on a G4 Mac Mini. In both cases, I spend way too much time looking at that “loading” icon when I click on a new feed. (On the G4 it’s waaaay slow, but that’s mostly my ‘puter’s problem, not GReader.)

    I agree the keyboard shortcuts are cool. And, I love the way GReader allows you to read individual items on the feed, as opposed to Bloglines, which auto-reads every item when you click on a feed. (Maybe there’s a way to change that, not sure.) But GReader has some big UI problems when it comes to managing your feeds, which I detailed in an earlier post.

    I’m sure GReader will improve over time, and I look forward to seeing it graduate from labs.

  78. Hey Robert…I’m a lil’ late responding, but FWIW I alternate between using Firefox 2.0 on a PC and Firefox 2.0 on a G4 Mac Mini. In both cases, I spend way too much time looking at that “loading” icon when I click on a new feed. (On the G4 it’s waaaay slow, but that’s mostly my ‘puter’s problem, not GReader.)

    I agree the keyboard shortcuts are cool. And, I love the way GReader allows you to read individual items on the feed, as opposed to Bloglines, which auto-reads every item when you click on a feed. (Maybe there’s a way to change that, not sure.) But GReader has some big UI problems when it comes to managing your feeds, which I detailed in an earlier post.

    I’m sure GReader will improve over time, and I look forward to seeing it graduate from labs.

  79. I like Google Reader for now. I used Bloglines for a long time but Google seems like a cleaner interface. I use Firefox as well, so I’m not sure how Google performs in IE.

  80. I like Google Reader for now. I used Bloglines for a long time but Google seems like a cleaner interface. I use Firefox as well, so I’m not sure how Google performs in IE.

  81. I have misses the trends feature since I go directly to all items. It is very nice. Apparently, I read all of the items in the low volume feeds, but I cannot keep up with high volume feeds like Scoblizer.

  82. I have misses the trends feature since I go directly to all items. It is very nice. Apparently, I read all of the items in the low volume feeds, but I cannot keep up with high volume feeds like Scoblizer.

  83. I have discovered Google Reader thanks to Scobleizer, and I’m very happy with it. Page layout, speed and keyboard shortcuts are very good. Sometimes I leave the J-J-J… for mouse scroll, and it’s very confortable too.
    Thanks, Robert.
    Antonio

  84. I have discovered Google Reader thanks to Scobleizer, and I’m very happy with it. Page layout, speed and keyboard shortcuts are very good. Sometimes I leave the J-J-J… for mouse scroll, and it’s very confortable too.
    Thanks, Robert.
    Antonio

  85. I too have about 500 subscriptions and have bounced around various readers. Blogbridge is where I am at right now– desktop based, but synchs between machines. I don’t like the river of news for all 500 blogs. In fact, I would bet that this approach is greatly responsible for your recent realization that you’ve gotten in a rut of reading the same old Blogs.

    At the same time, too much granularity isn’t good.

    With Blogbridge (and others can do things like this), I “rate” each blog with their 1-5 star mechanism and set a River of News view for each rating… I can also view non-starred feeds. This way I see a lot of feeds at a time and it is economical, but I also don’t lose track of (and don’t find any internal resistance to adding) new feeds that I have yet to evaluate…

  86. I too have about 500 subscriptions and have bounced around various readers. Blogbridge is where I am at right now– desktop based, but synchs between machines. I don’t like the river of news for all 500 blogs. In fact, I would bet that this approach is greatly responsible for your recent realization that you’ve gotten in a rut of reading the same old Blogs.

    At the same time, too much granularity isn’t good.

    With Blogbridge (and others can do things like this), I “rate” each blog with their 1-5 star mechanism and set a River of News view for each rating… I can also view non-starred feeds. This way I see a lot of feeds at a time and it is economical, but I also don’t lose track of (and don’t find any internal resistance to adding) new feeds that I have yet to evaluate…