I know this is so not not-PC in the blog world, but I’m calling for an end to the use of Google Reader.
What??? Is she joking????
I loved Google Reader. I really did. It was super-easy to subscribe to my favorite blogs, my friends favorite blogs, blogs I kind of liked, blogs I didn’t really like, blogs I had read once or twice, blogs I hadn’t read but might one day…Get where I’m going with this? Every time I opened the thing there were 100-200 unread posts, and pretty soon I started just avoiding it altogether.
A few weeks ago I said enough is enough, and wiped my Reader, then re-subscribing only to the blogs I read daily. This worked for about 3 and a half seconds. Right up until I got busy, and Google was kind enough to keep track of exactly how many unread blog posts I have. Sitting down to reader and finding over 100 every time is just way too much pressure. No one has that kind of time.
Everyone is wondering why comments are going down overall, I can tell you why, we are spending too much time in our Reader to have time to comment! 😐
I decided there had to be a workable solution, and I think I’ve found it. (I use Firefox, so if you are using a different browser your mileage may vary on this.) Open 10 of your favorite blogs, keeping them in one window. You should see the name of each blog in a tab along the upper level of your screen. Go to bookmarks, click ‘Bookmark all tabs’, and select a name for that group of blogs. You may name yours by priority, I just call mine ‘day 1’, ‘day 2’, etc. Then when you are ready to sit down and read, go to bookmarks, open that folder, and click ‘Open all in tabs’. Your ten blogs for that folder will open automatically, and you can go through tab by tab and do your reading/commenting. It takes me about 15-20 minutes to go through 10, and you can always do more than one batch a day if you are lucky enough to find yourself with extra time on your hands. Generally using this system you will fully make the rounds about twice a week.
I realize like anything there is flaws with this system as well. You won’t know if or how many new posts there are until you get back to that blog, but I figure since I was never getting through all my reader posts anyways, I know I was missing a lot. This is just a way to take the pressure off.
I think it’s time to simplify our blog reading. Google reader is fabulous, but if it cuts down on the sense of community by making us too overwhelmed to comment, whats the point?