I feel like I should apologise for the radio silence around here, but well. I suspect I’ll be starting every other post with an apology if I fall into that habit.
Big news of the week is Google Reader shutting down on July 1… I blinked when that notice appeared on my screen and immediately logged on to Twitter to figure out what others are doing (the joys of social media!).
There are a number of Google Reader alternatives being proposed - I’m trying out Feedly myself. I was tempted by The Old Reader, but they appear swamped by the influx of new users – I may give them a go when things quieten down to see which I prefer.
Importing my subscriptions to Feedly was painless as it (currently) uses Google Reader in the background (they are swapping over to a new backend when Google retires Reader) – I installed it using the Chrome app, and logged on using my Google account. All my subscriptions and folders appeared automatically, though I had to reorder some folders. I don’t usually check my RSS feeds on my phone, so the fact it needs to be installed in your browser is not a deal breaker for me.
Navigation took a while for me to figure out – tips: preferences are at the bottom left, you may have to increase your browser window width to see the left navigation pane, and saved articles are at the top left. I also had to play around with the settings to make it easier on the eyes – I changed the theme, expanded my browser window to full screen, and increased the font size.
I like that I can customise the view for each feed and Feedly remembers that. When I first logged on, I set the default for all feeds to title view (similar to Google Reader), but found that I actually liked their Magazine view better for certain feeds.
It’s not perfect – the navigation pane on the left could be easier to use (I find it hard to find the scroll bar, and end up clicking hopefully in what I think is the right area). Also, the navigation pane only shows RSS feeds with new articles and lists the feeds in a random order (within the folders) – I’m looking on the positive side as it’s making me read blogs in a different order each time…
Have you found a good alternative for Google Reader? Tell me!
Reading-wise, I’ve finished the following over the past couple of weeks:
Patricia Briggs‘ FROST BURNED: Good, as you’ve probably gathered from the slew of positive reviews around
Helen S Wright‘s A MATTER OF OATHS: I picked this up after I read this (non-spoilery) review by Jo Walton @ tor.com – the ebook version is free on the author’s website, and I would certainly recommend if you’re in the mood for some space opera fun.
Cari Silverwood‘s STEEL DOMINANCE: Review to come, as this is one of the very few books I’ve accepted for review – the author got me at steampunk BDSM.
I’m currently reading Shadow Unit 1 (ebook free @ Amazon or your friendly ebook retailer, I think), which is an interesting online experiment dreamt up by Emma Bull and Elizabeth Bear – more info at the Shadow Unit website. Genre-wise, it’s described as a “action-adventure police procedural with fantasy elements”, which is probably a fair assessment – the first book is actually four novellas (plus bonus scenes), so it’s not a massive commitment time-wise.