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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Old Reader Resurfaces

Let's all bow our heads in remembrance of Google Reader. Nothing else has come close to its simplicity and efficiency.

The mantle was taken up by Old Reader, Google's original reader, but now it too is being revamped so as to earn revenue.

Old Reader is charging for anything over 100 blog subscriptions. The fee is pretty reasonable, but I still hate the idea of paying.

I use Feedly as my main reader, but I like Old Reader for reading blogs on my smart phone. Since Old Reader will suspend service for anything over a hundred blog feeds, I decided to do some serious demolition work.

I had over 900 blog feeds on Old Reader and I hacked away until there were only fifty. Who was left?

Mostly friends' blogs, and blogs that contained useful information that was presented in a casual conversational tone.

I spent hours deciding who would stay and who would go. In the end, it all depended on how human they sounded. I was surprised how important that was to me.

People who ranted, whined, or were long-winded were deleted immediately. If I'm reading on my phone it's because I'm away from home, waiting for my turn in a queue. I don't want to be bored or annoyed on top of being inconvenienced.

It was such a relief to chip away all those excess blogs, I might use next Sunday to delete blogs from Feedly too. 

Before I deleted anyone, I scrolled through a list of a dozen+ posts for each blog. If most of their headlines started with "Release", "Queries", or "Buy My Book", I deleted them. It was tedious, but I didn't want to delete anyone just for having two or three bad posts in a row. You can't be sparkly every time.

Do you use a reader for your blog feeds? Are you happy with it? I've never been able to load Feedly on my phone without adding blogs manually--and I'm not going to do that!


24 comments:

Angela Brown said...

Wait...what? A Fee? Gosh, I better get out of my writing cave and get caught up on some of the stuff that's happening. And I better clear through my feed to make sure to scale down to the ones I frequent the most.

Maria Zannini said...

Angela: It's $2 a month or $20 a year for up to 500 subscriptions. It increases if you have more.

They had a moratorium for a couple of weeks. Mostly, your reader functions are disabled until you reduce the number of blogs to under a hundred. Then it's up and running like normal.

Even though the format is lean, it's still easier to navigate than the other readers--at least for me.

R. Mac Wheeler said...

900 blogs!! Holy Cow.

I tried Feedly. I started getting popups and my computer slowed, and since Feedly was the only install....

So in deinstalled...the popups went away.

I'm using Bloglovin now. It has its quirks, but who/what doesn't.

Maria Zannini said...

Mac: Which explains why I only comment on a few. LOL.

I really liked Bloglovin and would've used it exclusively except for one thing--it truncates the posts so you only see a couple of paragraphs. I really don't have time to visit every blog, so I need something that'll show the whole post.

Sarah Ahiers said...

I haven't been using a reader, so my blog reading has dropped waaaay off. I mostly just read the blogs that are on my own blog's sidebar. That's my reader

Stacy McKitrick said...

I read blogs like Sarah does (from my sidebar); I don't use a reader. Then again, I don't own a smart phone, either. :)

I think I'm glued to my laptop! haha!

Maria Zannini said...

Sarah: Until I accumulated so many blogs, sidebar reading was the easiest way to go.

Maria Zannini said...

Stacy: Oh, child, how can you go without a smart phone? LOL. I hate being so attached to mine but it's been a lifesaver plenty of times when I've gotten lost or needed to find an item in a hurry.

marlenedotterer said...

I switched to MyReads when Google Reader went away. It does the job okay, although it's a pain to add new blogs. Still, I really shouldn't add more blogs - I can't read all the ones I'm subscribed to as it is.

Maria Zannini said...

Marlene: I hadn't heard of MyReads. I may go check them out.

Anne Gallagher said...

Oh, yay for Reader. I had no idea it had come back. I guess I'll have to purge my list as well.

I don't have a smart phone either.

Maria Zannini said...

Anne: Well, yes and no. Old Reader was the original Google Reader. I think they used it for beta testing.

But now they made it 'new and improved' and at a fee.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

I always use laptops to read blogs, but that's because I like to comment, and it takes forever on my phone. Well, and my laptop never auto-corrects misspelled words into ones like booty.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I usually use my laptop to answer blogs but when I travel I used my Kindle Fire.
I miss Reader a lot.

raelynbarclay said...

I subscribed by email to most of the blogs I wanted to make sure I didn't miss. Everyone else is hit or miss as I have time though I do make a point of visiting anyone who comments on my blog. I'm not out there as much but the relief of not feeling guilty if I don't get through my blog stream is huge.

How you dealt with 900+ blogs has ALWAYS boggled my mind!

Diane Carlisle said...

All new posts from blogs I follow show up on my Blogger timeline, so I have plenty to read as it is. Most of the blogs I'm following don't post often enough, so I might have to follow leader and do some cleanup myself! :)

I'm with you. If they sound too gimmicky and non human, I'm not interested in following any longer.

LD Masterson said...

It seems every time I get comfortable with a blog reader, it goes away. So I pretty much just use the "blogs I follow" list on my own blog and work my way through it each week, starting on Wednesday when I do my weekly post and reading as many as I can in batches until I've been through the list.

Maria Zannini said...

Barbara: Phones aren't terribly comfortable for reading, but if you're stuck in a waiting room it's better than nuthin'.

Maria Zannini said...

Susan: I miss it too. It's just not the same experience. I would've settled for them embedding ads if they'd have kept it free.

Maria Zannini said...

Raelyn: I was forced to use email when a couple of my favorite bloggers' blogs wouldn't show up on my feed. It has something to do with how the blog is connected to their web site. It's a shame because my emails often get buried and sometimes I forget to read them until too late.

Maria Zannini said...

Linda: As the days get warmer, I'm forced to work in batches too. In the winter it seems I'm in front of my computer all day long, but in the spring and summer, I read blogs and answer blogs when I'm on break.

Maria Zannini said...

Diane: When I was deleting blogs, I realized that voice and personality raised a blog's interaction with me. I hope I come across just as personable.

Mike Keyton said...

900 blogs, that's a huge potential time sink,Maria. But then again, you get what you put in. You do have an incredible platform.

Ref google reader,I never used it so don't miss it. I just use the blog sidebar and check it once or twice a week

Maria Zannini said...

Mike: To be fair, most only blog once a week. And I only scan headlines. If it doesn't grab me, it doesn't get read.