The Breaking Of The Feedreaders

OK I am not alone: “unfortunately the way Google Reader works is that it forces you to look
at every single post, so if you have feeds that are very frequently
updates, Google Reader is not great at letting you simply skim through
them quickly. Almost immediately, my Google Reader account was
overwhelmed with thousands of unread posts, and it felt completely out
of control. I abandoned it, as I suspect many other people did who went
through the same experience.”

This is SOOO broken. My basic interaction with my feedreader is:

  • Scan the bold feed titles to see where there’s something new.
  • Click on a few feeds and scan their posts. Now these feeds are “read” and are not bold anymore.
  • Rinse and repeat.

Call me crazy. Is this just me? Isn’t this how feedreaders should work? So why is Bloglines broken (the bolding of the feeds is broken), and why does Google Reader just doesn’t want to do this (if I click a feed, the feed still shows bold, as if I didn’t read it.)?


4 thoughts on “The Breaking Of The Feedreaders

  1. Allowing the eye to scan and select where to put the attention is CRUCIAL.

    I am working on something even simpler than bloglines (it gets rid of the folder structure). It’s not targeted to us massive feed consumers but to people who regularly want to check the newspaper and a few other websites. You may want to check out a prototype here:

    In a few weeks we’ll be testing it. I’ll let you know in case you want to switch ;-)

  2. Hi Peter, works fine in Google Reader as soon as you check “In expanded view, mark items as read when you scroll past them.” in the settings, first tab. Additionally use j and k to jump up and down a post at a time.

  3. Harald: you’re not getting what I mean. I don’t WANT to scroll down all items. When I select a feed, I want ALL items immediately to be unread. That’s how Bloglines works, that makes sense to me. Making me scroll down lotsa items just doesn’t make ANY sense to me whatsoever.

  4. Peter, actually, what you need to do is to switch Google Reader to “List view” (top right tab), and this suddenly solves some of your problems:
    – you get to scan the list of posts;
    – you can read posts one by one;
    – you can “mark all as read” (button on the top of the list) to get rid of the stuff you’re sure you don’t care about.

    And while “feed unbolding” might seem logical, it isn’t — it’s a leftover habit after bloglines which couldn’t track what you’ve read and what not. It gives way for a lot of a suffering when you open a feed with LOTS of updates and your browser crashes or you just have to go for some reason. You miss all the stuff that is shown in the open feed in bloglines.

    So just ix your Google reader.
    And its list view’s much quicker than expanded view too.
    Give it a try. Seriously.

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