Google Reader (and Currently Reading)

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.

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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!

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Reading-wise, I’ve finished the following over the past couple of weeks:

Patricia BriggsFROST 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.

 

7 Comments

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7 responses to “Google Reader (and Currently Reading)

  1. Hey Li :) I don’t understand why Google is closing up their Reader!! Boooo! I’m letting everyone test the different alternatives and then, I’ll see which ones get the best feedback LOL. In short, I’m really lazy at the moment ^_^;

    Glad you enjoyed the new Patricia Briggs ;) DIdn’t you think it was a bit short though? By the way, did you get Written in Red yet? It’s good :) Just saying LOL.

    • Ha – I did see your five star rating on GR! I’m planning on reading it this weekend.

      I’m quite liking Feedly. Though I’m going to give The Old Reader a go – I’m like 10000+ in their queue of subscription imports (though I swear I was 9000+ yesterday so I’m not sure what’s happening).

  2. Hey Li! I have a couple of the Shadow Unit episodes in my Kindle. I need to get to those. :D

    I don’t know where to go for a reader! I signed up for The Old Reader too, but am also on the queue… I figure I’ll get there by July. LOL! But, I’m not sure I will stay with them and will wait a bit before making my final decision.

    • SHADOW UNIT definitely felt like a TV show (which I think it’s what the episodes are meant to be) – emphasis on the descriptive side, IMO. I’ll be keen to hear your thoughts. I liked Sarah Monette and Will Shetterly’s writing best.

      Feedly is winning me over! I am really liking their magazine style interface – it’s great for reading feeds with lots of daily articles (like tor.com). Also, my subscriptions are now alphabetised on the left – not sure why I thought they’re weren’t originally.

  3. Jan

    I tried to comment on your blog after you left a message on my blog last week, but I was having an issue with wordpress blogs and comments. I finally fixed it!

    When you commented on my blog I didn’t realize I’ve been reading your blog for a long time because we do have similar reading interests! You’ve given me lots of good recommendations.

    • I’m glad I found your blog then! I’m looking forward to following your posts and umm… I don’t suppose you fancy opening a Goodreads account? ;-)

  4. Pingback: Feedly Follow-up and Goodreads | Me and My Books

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