Thursday, December 24, 2009

tiny irritations

I love Google Reader, because it encourages me to absorb content. Instead of having an overwhelming list of blogs that I frequently or infrequently check, many of which are ignored for months b/c I found them late at night and can't remember what they are, I can quickly browse through the list of new stuff and see what's worth looking at today. I like that it helps me prioritize, and it keeps from forgetting about bloggers like elzr, who post infrequently but say fascinating things.

I don't like that it strips out a blog's design, as many of the blogs I read have fantastic design work behind them and google's interface is a bit spartan. I don't like that certain blogs, like this modern world, don't have any kind of syndicated feed, forcing me to maintain a "no rss" folder in my browser (although this solves the problem of what to read on my lunch at work).

Mostly, though, I don't like how rapidly google reader becomes overwhelming. For most of the last nine months, as I've struggled through my first two terms back at school after nine years, the "unread item" counter has simply read 1000+. I just spent three hours combing through my subscriptions, cutting feeds that I'm no longer interested in, catching up on some old favorites, essentially trimming the fat; the counter is still at about 450 items. This is simply too much for me to process when, really, the point of google reader is to aggregate stuff for when I feel like sitting down to read. It makes reading (something I love) into a chore.

What's really frustrating, though, is that it seems to weight quantity over quality. Warren Ellis, for example, posts a LOT stuff, and if I'm just pointing my browser to his blog now and then, I don't particularly mind if I miss something; in the same way that I will miss episodes of a favorite tv show over the course of a season but not be too bothered by it.

A paradigm shift seems in order, but I'm honestly not sure where to look. My issue with bookmarks is that it ties me down to a specific folder in a specific browser on a specific computer. Delicious could make for an alternative, but it's a bit limited with items-per-page. I could go for the old blogroll on the side of the tumblr, but I don't want to have to update my custom skin every time I find a new cool blog.

It is a frustration.

1 comment:

Colin said...

You can find an RSS feed for TMW through Credo!