Your Plus is in my Reader November 4, 2011 8:13 PM   Subscribe

Matt Haughey and his random tweet lead to a larger soapbox for him to complain about the changes to his beloved Google reader

Matt tweeted himself onto This Week In Google via @ginatrapani
This Week in Google is broadcast from the TWiT Brickhouse


This Week In Google 119: It's Not Lying, It's Misinformation
posted by TangerineGurl to MetaFilter-Related at 8:13 PM (98 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

Well done, Numbah One.
posted by Danf at 8:31 PM on November 4, 2011


anytime i hear someone pronounce the leader's name as anything other than ma-thowie (or math-owie), i'm instantly confused, "wait, who?"
posted by nadawi at 8:33 PM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


anytime i hear someone pronounce the leader's name as anything other than ma-thowie (or math-owie), i'm instantly confused, "wait, who?"

Me too, nadawi. I thought the gentle reminder was warranted.
posted by TangerineGurl at 8:35 PM on November 4, 2011


Fuck sharing, the Next Item button is all the damn way over there. ALL THE DAMN WAY
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:51 PM on November 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


Why don't you just hit J instead of the next button?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 9:00 PM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fuck sharing, the Next Item button is all the damn way over there. ALL THE DAMN WAY

And the stars are at the end of the line, instead of aligned on the left - so you have to hunt for them. And their outlines are eggshell white or some crap that makes them impossible to see.

Fortunately, the little "send feedback" thing still pops up all the time, so I've alerted Google to these various defects several times and will continue to do so until they fix the product that I do not pay for.
posted by The World Famous at 9:03 PM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


GOOGLE READER HAS BECOME SO FUCKING SLOW!!!! I am teh hurtz. :( FIX IT GOOGLE!@!!!

But seriously, it is painfully slow now on all browsers I have. Awful. I wish I could switch back.
posted by fake at 9:11 PM on November 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


The mobile site which hasn't changed yet is still normal speed. reader.google.com/i/
posted by Threeway Handshake at 9:13 PM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was raging on twitter about it all week because I was honestly perplexed and pretty upset by the loss of this hidden niche social network. I don't think I got that across while being a guest, it was much more free-wheeling and fun-loving, but like I posted on MLKSHK, the Downfall parody of this all struck pretty close to home.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:14 PM on November 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I just have to say, I like Leo. He's a class act. Glad you had the opportunity to go on his show.
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:25 PM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


They already seem to have made one improvement. I thought earlier in the week, clicking on the title of the blog in your feed didn't get you to the post, but got you... nowhere. Now it gets you to the post. Anyone else notice that?

Also, amongst the internet glitterati (internetatti?), how big is this? I mean, isn't Matt kinda, um, known? Someone explain, please. With graphics and small words.
posted by bluedaisy at 9:29 PM on November 4, 2011


Can someone link the tweet in question please?
posted by yeoz at 9:54 PM on November 4, 2011


Matt on Twitter

Here's one of the tweets.

I'm going to stop there because I feel like I'm stalking Matt via Twitter. Have fun in Palm Springs, Matt!
posted by bluedaisy at 10:00 PM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


It was somewhere around November 1st

"Day 2 of Google Reader leaves me feeling like someone took my iPhone away and handed me a RAZR. It's a lifeless, dead app now."
posted by TangerineGurl at 10:01 PM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Heh. I was just having a discussion about the old RAZR. It's funny what got people's fancy pre-iPhone. Ooh! Its keypad was cut from one piece of metal!
posted by Horselover Phattie at 10:59 PM on November 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I have several TWIT netcasts in my RSS feed (NOT Google Reader, but FeedDemon sync'ed with GR) and had fallen about a week behind on my daily dose of Leo & Friends. I was SHOCKED to realize I didn't even notice Matt's name in the summary for this one. D'Oh! Of course, he gets called on for one of the longest shows they do.

But I am still getting incoming 'shared articles' from Matt and a couple other people via FeedDemon. (His latest share was, of course, "Google Reader Downfall") When I heard the news, I expected those to disappear, so I have NO idea what's going on there.

BTW, I previously wrote...
I would read a Personal Appeal From MetaFilter Founder Matt Haughey anytime.
I can't say the same for more than a couple other founders.

Leo Laporte is one of them.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:17 PM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I never really used the sharing features of Google Reader, but the wasted space at the top of the reader was killing me with the new design. Luckily, pressing 'f' goes into fullscreen mode, saving lots of screen space. Highly recommended.
posted by rider at 12:25 AM on November 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm favouriting this in order to show my support and solidarity - I'm glad this redesign is getting noticed - Thank you number one.

There's no scroll bar on google reader any more - I want to scroll through all the posts in a feed - I am being forced to click click on the mouse. What were you guys thinking out there in googleplex?
posted by infini at 1:09 AM on November 5, 2011


There's no scroll bar on google reader any more - I want to scroll through all the posts in a feed - I am being forced to click click on the mouse.

You can hit the "n" key to advance one post at a time.
posted by Jahaza at 1:20 AM on November 5, 2011


advance one post at a time.

Yes, rather than scan rapidly down the page looking at headlines before something catches my eye long enough to stop and read.

Google's data based design methods mean that my reading style and speed is being brought down, Harrison Bergeron style, to their constraints.

[why yes, I'm cranky this morning]
posted by infini at 1:26 AM on November 5, 2011


anytime i hear someone pronounce the leader's name as anything other than ma-thowie (or math-owie), i'm instantly confused, "wait, who?"

In my mind I always hear/see it as the Batman style sound effect of someone getting hit with the Banhammer....

MAT! HOWIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
posted by the_artificer at 2:17 AM on November 5, 2011


One of the things that made Google so good from day 1 was the clarity of their web pages. The original Google search page - nothing on it but a Google logo and a search box and button - was just such a relief compared to the Yahoo and Altavista visual noise festivals.

Somewhere along the line, they lost the plot.

I've been playing with the new Gmail look, and from where I sit I can see nothing to like. The only rationale I can see for any of it is that at first glance to a newbie, or looking at Photoshop mockups completely divorced from actually using an email client to get stuff done, the new layout might well appear "less cluttered".

BUT

clarity and visual minimalism are not the same thing. Not at all.

They've got rid of a default color scheme that worked really well, in favor of one that looks like somebody bled on a dirty sock; there are no borders around the central message area, so my eyeballs just skid all over the place; there are a bunch of settings under a new mini-gearwheel icon that you can't get to via the usual Mail Settings page; buttons pop in and out of visibility as if they were context dropdown menus, they are determined not to let me have all my labels visible at once... the thing is a dog's breakfast and what really pisses me off is that although it's themable, none of the themes look like the existing Gmail interface that (with ongoing minor and mostly tolerable tweaks) I have consistently enjoyed using since first getting my account.

I snickered when Yahoo high-handedly imposed a "new look" on all their users that broke horribly on ms. flabdablet's browser. Seeing the exact same cluelessness coming from Google is a bit of a slap upside the head for me.

But the thing is, I'm 49 now. That means I'm just a cranky old occupant of a niche anti-fashion demographic, in a world full of people "so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea" except now it's not digital watches but smart phones. There is no way anybody from Google is going to take my opinion seriously enough to give me what I want.

How hard would it be to mirror all the existing Gmail UI pages before they force-push the new garbage, and host them on my own webspace? Would that even work?
posted by flabdablet at 3:19 AM on November 5, 2011 [35 favorites]


*looks up at flabdablet adoringly for articulating everything so well* ~ one who still forces "Windows Classic" and a background custom mixed colour since 1995

Perhaps the internet isnot meant for those of us over 45, after all we're just digital immigrants
posted by infini at 3:53 AM on November 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Twit? Really? Twit?
posted by nathancaswell at 5:35 AM on November 5, 2011


I read on AskMe that some dude is building a replacement that's supposed to "work just like Google Reader but better".
posted by gman at 5:53 AM on November 5, 2011


Also, I don't like the way this new-fangled Coke tastes. Why couldn't they just leave well enough alone?
posted by The World Famous at 5:56 AM on November 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's a minor complaint, but I'm annoyed they dropped the likes for +1s on Google Plus. With the like, I could give a little hat tip that was only visible to other people interested in the thing that I liked.
posted by drezdn at 6:09 AM on November 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why don't you just hit J instead of the next?

I have neither the time nor the inclination to learn keyboard shortcuts. So there.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:49 AM on November 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm back on Bloglines for a week to see if it sticks. It you turn off widget mode it works pretty well. I was never much of a sharer on Google reader so the loss of the social aspects really don't impact me much.
posted by COD at 6:50 AM on November 5, 2011


As I clumsily attempt to catch up on my RSS backlog from the work week, I'm noticing that its the plusone google business that's making the scroll bar on the left for the blog list stick and not work properly.

I've also learnt that pressing the pgdn key is even faster than scrolling for the main section

that doesn't mean I like the white spaces that confuse me

Let me know how bloglines might be turning out, I can always go back to them
posted by infini at 6:55 AM on November 5, 2011


No, it's not just you. It's bullshit. Google has no clue. They jack all over their computers. It feels so good. All we get is the wet spot. They've never had a vision for what they wanted to make. It's just kids in the woodshed banging together nails and lath and baling wire. Wheee. Look mom I made a sword. Oh no it broke I'll make another one. Microsoft was never about innovation, it was about Market Share and Profit, who cares about the users. Google is the Anti-Microsoft. All Innovation All the Time, but they have one thing in common: they don't care about the users either. It is funny though isn't it, the company that puts Users first is the one that is eating their lunch in both profit and innovation. Do you think there might be a lesson in that? Brin and Page won't learn it. Neither will Ballmer.

Fuck, can they not see how they fail over and over? I hate them.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:57 AM on November 5, 2011


after all we're just digital immigrants

Better that, than a digital cargo cultist.
posted by flabdablet at 7:16 AM on November 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Make that senile cargo cultist and I'm in
posted by infini at 7:26 AM on November 5, 2011


Is there a this week in twitter? Because they took a perfectly functioning design and turned it into a piece of unusable crap. I still use it, but I seldom follow back anymore since it's difficult to see beyond a person's last three tweets.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:36 AM on November 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


And they're finally officially turning off Google Notebook. That makes me full of sad. I love that thing and absolutely do not see how Google Documents does what Notebook does. It does everything worse, and slower.
posted by inigo2 at 8:02 AM on November 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


FREEZE THE INTERWEBS, PLEASE

~signed
posted by infini at 8:03 AM on November 5, 2011


inigo2: "And they're finally officially turning off Google Notebook. That makes me full of sad. I love that thing and absolutely do not see how Google Documents does what Notebook does. It does everything worse, and slower."

crap. that's what i use(d to use) to track my vehicle maintenance.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 8:04 AM on November 5, 2011


I saw Matt tweet about the live recording coming up a few minutes before it started and so popped open the video stream in another window in time to see the pre-show "let's get everybody dialed in" stuff, which I swear to god is one of my favorite things about internet streaming. It's fun to watch the sausage getting made.

I've still never really gotten into the habit of using a feed reader, so the actual change here is a non-event for me and I'm just now starting to use and like G+, so it was hard for me to care terribly much about the argument, but I hadn't seen TWIG before it was fun watching Matt and the rest of that crew doing their thing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:41 AM on November 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Don't be yadda yadda
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:42 AM on November 5, 2011


I've had one tab open of old reader for like a week, and have been avoiding closing my browser or restarting my computer for fear of losing it. It's not the design that bugs me so (though I agree about the next button--it's SO hard to remember where it is! and it's not even marked textually!) but the fact that it's slow as molasses. Anyway, I fear my next windows update, and the inevitable reboot that will follow.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:51 AM on November 5, 2011


The very sad irony is that its the same company who has made so much noise and hired so many smart people out in Sub Sahara - all to bring internet to the masses. Google doesn't need to buy data bundles just like back in the day the mobile handset maker employees never knew what it cost to call home.
posted by infini at 8:53 AM on November 5, 2011


Man, I guess I haven't watched any of these since they moved into their new digs but what is the deal with the set? Why does Leo Laporte have a throne?
posted by villanelles at dawn at 9:12 AM on November 5, 2011


crap. that's what i use(d to use) to track my vehicle maintenance.

It's what I use to track a ton of stuff. And google docs is just incomparable.

Does anyone know of another product that functions just like google notebook? Or even a way I could set google notebook up on a server of my own?
posted by inigo2 at 10:00 AM on November 5, 2011


The only solution is not to share.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:01 AM on November 5, 2011


ZIm Wiki might replace Google Notebook for you. I'm using Tomboy on Linux, which is essentially the same idea - a text note organizer. Both are just dealing in text files so it's easy to keep multiple computers synced via Dropbox or UbuntuOne or whatever.
posted by COD at 10:14 AM on November 5, 2011


Do you think there might be a lesson in that? Brin and Page won't learn it. Neither will Ballmer.

I think, actually, that Google's recent pruning of random stuff from their offerings had a lot to do with a meeting between Larry Page and Apple about simplifying and focusing your products. I think Google is working towards getting down to email, apps, plus and search. I wouldn't be surprised if they spun off Android.
posted by empath at 10:34 AM on November 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


(between Larry Page and Steve Jobs, rather). It's mentioned in Jobs's biography.
posted by empath at 10:34 AM on November 5, 2011


cortex, if you like the "sausage getting made" aspect of online streaming, I bet you'd appreciate what Harry Shearer called "found objects" -- Shearer was an early adopter of satellite video in the 1980s and there was a community of people who found and taped feeds of all kinds of odd live video feeds.
posted by artlung at 10:43 AM on November 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't be surprised if they spun off Android.

What makes you say this? I'm curious to know more and you don't have a newsletter - please to unpack
posted by infini at 10:49 AM on November 5, 2011


I never really used the sharing features of Google Reader, but the wasted space at the top of the reader was killing me with the new design. Luckily, pressing 'f' goes into fullscreen mode, saving lots of screen space. Highly recommended.

Oh, goodness, Google should send you $5 in the mail, rider, because I think you may have saved me from switching away from Google Reader.*

* Okay, I probably wasn't going to actually switch but all the stupid new whitespace was really annoying, and the f thing really helps, and I'd really like Google to send rider five bucks.
posted by BrashTech at 10:50 AM on November 5, 2011


'f' works for the specific feed you're reading but you still have to go in and out of that mode in order the find the rest of your feeds. What will they do with all that white space? Is it pigs in mortgage banner time again?

But thankyou rider for solving my problem in the now
posted by infini at 10:53 AM on November 5, 2011


Shearer was an early adopter of satellite video in the 1980s and there was a community of people who found and taped feeds of all kinds of odd live video feeds.

Front page post, please! I would watch the heck out of this. There's a ton of totally bizarre stuff from that era, especially in the magic window at the end of the analog era when things finally became affordable.
posted by loquacious at 10:58 AM on November 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


ZIm Wiki might replace Google Notebook for you. I'm using Tomboy on Linux, which is essentially the same idea - a text note organizer.

Thanks, I'll check these out. Gah. Just annoys me -- if google's gonna cancel Google Notebook, why not release it?
posted by inigo2 at 11:21 AM on November 5, 2011


I just have to say, I like Leo. He's a class act.

Man, I wish it was 5 years ago and I still felt the same. I mean, yes, I'm sure he's a nice guy, but sometimes the less you know the better. But he was a trailblazer, so I'm thankful that he showed the way for others that now do it better.

Why does Leo Laporte have a throne?

It's the only thing that will fit his ego.
posted by justgary at 11:45 AM on November 5, 2011


So I'm the only one that likes the new interface then?
posted by euphorb at 12:06 PM on November 5, 2011


I just loaded it up now and I noticed they did make one change! The post titles are now blue. This was one of the complaints I heard people make and it was annoying.

Also irritating is the giant, bright red SUBSCRIBE button in the upper left. It's just visually distracting. Plus all the wasted space.

But they are apparently listening to people.

One thing I think they should do, though, is include tools to share on other social networks or post directly to a blog.
posted by delmoi at 12:13 PM on November 5, 2011

I think, actually, that Google's recent pruning of random stuff from their offerings had a lot to do with a meeting between Larry Page and Apple about simplifying and focusing your products. I think Google is working towards getting down to email, apps, plus and search. I wouldn't be surprised if they spun off Android.
Why would they spin off android? It's probably a major source of growth for them. That would be like Microsoft spinning off the Xbox. Plus, they get all kinds of data from those devices and they are tied in tightly with maps and geolocation. They also just bought Motorola's mobile division. Getting out of the cellphone business would be insane.
posted by delmoi at 12:19 PM on November 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think Google is working towards getting down to email, apps, plus and search. I wouldn't be surprised if they spun off Android.

I read an interesting article a while back and now I can't remember where it was --- that suggested that they need to have a mobile platform otherwise they lose out on too much data as more and more internet use takes places through phones.

On the topic of the new google reader design, if anyone knows of a greasemonkey script that get rid of all the white space on top without requiring me to fullscreen the reader, I would be their bestie forever. Because I often read things on my laptop, skimming back and forth and in and out of tabs, so I wouldn't want something that hides the architecture of the reader or the tab bar of my browser. But as it is now I can barely watch a embedded video --- there's so much useless white space that it cuts off a fair chunk of either the top of bottom of the vid, my choice. Old reader let you resize. This is one of those things where you're just like --- do you ever test these things, at all, on people who aren't working with two 22in monitors? Because that is not the use case for the 99 percent of humanity...
posted by Diablevert at 12:25 PM on November 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Userstyles.org has a bunch of themes for the new reader, most of which cut down on the annoying whitespace. I'm happy enough with this one but there are several that have been updated this week.
posted by Lorin at 12:30 PM on November 5, 2011 [9 favorites]

There's no scroll bar on google reader any more - I want to scroll through all the posts in a feed - I am being forced to click click on the mouse. What were you guys thinking out there in googleplex?
Weird. I still use firefox 3.6 because of this one stupid addon that hasn't been updated, and I get normal scrollbars in reader. I just tried it chrome and there are scrollbars but they are not the 'normal' scrollbars. Rather, there are just very subtle gray sliders that work like scrollbars where the scrollbars should be. That is absolutly terrible design.

You should never replace system controls unless you need too, and when you do it should be really obvious. The scrollbars in reader are not very noticeable at all. Like I said they are just little grey rectangles with no shading and the 'scroll area' is white, just like the page, which makes them even harder to see. And there are no arrows at the top or bottom to let you know it's a scrollbar.

Hopefully you can see it now, infini.

If not, also keep in mind that you can use the up and down keys on your keyboard to move up and down the page, as well as using the J and K keys to move up and down (as well as the N key, apparently. I never knew that)
posted by delmoi at 12:40 PM on November 5, 2011


heh, I use Firefox 3.6 too. Scroll bars exist for the seperation between list of blogs and the frame with the blog specific posts but the scroll bar on the extreme right that allowed me to scroll the blog post frame has gone *poof* completely

Otoh, thanks delmoi - you've solved the problem of possibly why the one scrollbar I do see doesn't really work since with every move you make google is busy pinging 600 hundred different receptors
posted by infini at 12:43 PM on November 5, 2011


Plus, they get all kinds of data from those devices and they are tied in tightly with maps and geolocation. They also just bought Motorola's mobile division. Getting out of the cellphone business would be insane.

Yeah, it would cut off their ad revenue from mobile. They make most of it from iPhones at the moment, but that won't last forever. Spinning off Android wouldn't make sense.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:09 PM on November 5, 2011


On the topic of the new google reader design, if anyone knows of a greasemonkey script that get rid of all the white space on top without requiring me to fullscreen the reader

I use Google Reader Minimalistic, which hasn't been explicitly updated for the new version of Reader but still works fine. Hit 'W' to hide the header.
posted by Ian A.T. at 1:33 PM on November 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


One of the things that always set Google Reader (and Bloglines, before it went away) from most other RSS readers on the market was the density: lots of articles, in chronological order, treating all your sources equally. That's really important, if you've got 190 or so feeds like I do. As much as I love how Flipboard et al look, they're all readers designed for people that read stuff from 20 places. Aesthetically and technically, I can tell the Google Reader redesign is going that direction, and it bugs me.

Why 190 feeds? While I totally get folks whose jobs / vocations aren't made better by getting lots of different perspectives and consciously working to diffuse conventional wisdom, mine does. It means I should do something more than just reading the NYT to stay educated, and it means that I should probably treat ideas on a roughly even playing field. I'm a little bothered, frankly, by the vision Leo painted on TWiG of a world in which Twitter and Facebook replace RSS for finding content - by definition, those networks represent conventional wisdom, and while they're great for finding what's neat, they're not so good for finding stuff that might challenge you, especially because you're super likely to have friends who think pretty much like you do. A=
posted by Apropos of Something at 1:36 PM on November 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


"A=" was unintentional. I can't type on Saturdays.
posted by Apropos of Something at 1:36 PM on November 5, 2011


I don't think they will spin off android.

From what I understand, and I can't find a source right now, Android is the Page and Brin's pet project.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:43 PM on November 5, 2011


I always say "Math Owie," as in a minor injury done to a child by algebra.

On topic: Google seems to do a lot of things that I find utterly perplexing and I wouldn't recommend. And yet they seem to remain profitable. Lesson here seems to be, "don't take business advice from zomg."
posted by zomg at 1:49 PM on November 5, 2011


delmoi: " One thing I think they should do, though, is include tools to share on other social networks or post directly to a blog."

There is a "send to" button on the bottom of each post. It's configurable in your settings. It includes Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, Tumblr, InstaPaper, reddit, and more. It also includes manual configuration if your service isn't listed.

I want the old sharing feature back.
posted by IndigoRain at 2:21 PM on November 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I miss the bookmark let the most. I used that not just to share but as a way to quickly bookmark pages and tag them (ala delicious, or pin board). Oh well, off to find something else, way to go GOOG.
posted by jeffehobbs at 2:22 PM on November 5, 2011


I've at least heard about Shearer's found-feed stuff, probably from some conversation in a Metafilter a while back, yeah. No obvious previous post about it from a lazy search, so, yeah, maybe someone should try to make a post.

Whenever I'm going to bother watching some press-conference I try to get there a few minutes early and aim for a feed that seems more likely to roll camera ahead of time rather than cutting in on the dot. Usually all you get is an empty podium or whatever but you never know.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:33 PM on November 5, 2011


Someone compiled a list (with pictures) of userstyles and scripts to reduce some of the whitespace.
posted by kagredon at 2:42 PM on November 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Has anyone noticed how Chrome lacks (by default) auto-discovery of feeds? There's an addon, but you have to go looking. I don't mean to sound all conspiracy-minded about this, but it really feels like a lot of what Google is up to lately is about consolidating the flow of the web, and the ways people use it, through channels where they have more control and overt ownership of the mechanisms. If that's what they're up to, Reader as sort of a dumbed-down funnel into Plus makes a lot more sense than Reader as a way to access a bunch of self-syndicating sites and a quiet, unobtrusive way to share them between users.

(I might be articulating this badly, and I don't think it's unique to Google so much as it's just one aspect of all the ways that "social networks" and "the Cloud" constitute massive power grabs by big players like them.)
posted by brennen at 4:38 PM on November 5, 2011

It means I should do something more than just reading the NYT to stay educated, and it means that I should probably treat ideas on a roughly even playing field. I'm a little bothered, frankly, by the vision Leo painted on TWiG of a world in which Twitter and Facebook replace RSS for finding content - by definition, those networks represent conventional wisdom, and while they're great for finding what's neat, they're not so good for finding stuff that might challenge you, especially because you're super likely to have friends who think pretty much like you do.
Well, far more people read facebook and are on twitter then ever used RSS/Atom feeds. But with facebook who you read would be public knowlege, and the UI isn't exactly geared towards reading stuff the way google reader is. I hardly ever use facebook, other then to play bejeweled blitz.

Twitter? Don't even get me started. You go to someone's feed and it's like half conversations which you have no way of correlating with the other half. Sometimes you go read the other person's thread and you have to spend 30 seconds reading all their posts before you find the one they replied too.

It might be fun to post stuff on twitter and it might be fun to 'listen in' on someone's stream. But I find most tweets inane anyway.

There were a few people who mentioned some of their tweets on their blog, and I realized I could just add their twitter RSS to reader! Then like a month later twitter took away RSS functionality.

The Reader/G+ integration I'd really like to see is the ability to add people's G+ stream to reader.
Has anyone noticed how Chrome lacks (by default) auto-discovery of feeds?
They also removed it from firefox! Apparently those pixels were too precious to waste, and not that many people used feeds to justify it's inclusion. Really annoying.
posted by delmoi at 6:19 PM on November 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


You can add it back in Firefox! It's not gone, it's just no longer shown by default. Options - Toolbar Layout should yield a button you can drag to your toolbar wherever you'd like.
posted by donnagirl at 6:32 PM on November 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've just gone to Reader for the first time in a week and it's just urgh. Not all off us read on tablets all the time. There should be some flexibility in layout depending on the platform. And the white space...it burns!
posted by arcticseal at 6:36 PM on November 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Outside of MetaFilter, I've never had a better online social experience than on Reader. It was an incredibly well-designed social space. I got to know people, hell, even made offline friends. Other than MetaFilter, I've never had that kind of social experience online. And my sharebuddies showed me some amazing things. Going back to Reader now is like going to an empty building that once overflowed with life.
posted by Kattullus at 6:41 PM on November 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


I don't mean to sound all conspiracy-minded about this, but it really feels like a lot of what Google is up to lately is about consolidating the flow of the web...

They just suddenly killed easy sharing on anything other than their own (kinda desperate) attempt to create a social network they control. There's no need to apologize for recognizing that, and it sure doesn't take a "conspiracy theory" to explain what's going on.
posted by mediareport at 7:14 PM on November 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


They also removed it from firefox! Apparently those pixels were too precious to waste, and not that many people used feeds to justify it's inclusion. Really annoying.

Yeah, I use Firefox about half of the time (Chrome is a quality piece of software, but it still feels kind of fragile, if that makes any sense, and Firebug has some lingering advantages over the Chrome developer tools). Noticing that they'd hidden the feed discovery features left me fairly disgusted. I feel pretty certain that for x-random user, that's the equivalent of removing the feature, and a sure sign they're looking to kill it. The thing is, I can't really see any upside in this for an organization like Mozilla, unless it's toadying to the Googles and Facebooks of the world. You'd think a genuinely decentralized and carrier-neutral Internet would be among their basic priorities. Then again, I keep hearing that all their income is ad revenue from searches, so who knows...
posted by brennen at 9:09 PM on November 5, 2011


And they're finally officially turning off Google Notebook. That makes me full of sad.

When are they turning off google notebook? I looked around and couldn't find anything.
posted by cashman at 10:05 PM on November 5, 2011


delmoi: There were a few people who mentioned some of their tweets on their blog, and I realized I could just add their twitter RSS to reader! Then like a month later twitter took away RSS functionality.

I do the same thing--nothing against Twitter, but I'm not interested in microblogging and I'm too lazy to log into another site to follow another batch of things. The good news is, they hid RSS, but it's not totally gone. You can still get there by URL:

https://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/mathowie.rss (or whatever other username in place of "mathowie")
posted by kagredon at 10:57 PM on November 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh I get it now, I'm expected to be using my fingers on an Apple product to navigate through Google's Reader with no alternate tools or technology such as *gasp* a mouse.
posted by infini at 1:46 AM on November 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


The only, ONLY bonus to the lack of "share" feature is that it takes 1% of the time it used to go through my Google Reader feed.

The downside is that it's also only 1% as awesome.
posted by sonika at 3:50 AM on November 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


When are they turning off google notebook? I looked around and couldn't find anything.

"Very soon", allegedly. When you log in now, you get a message that didn't used to show up: "Notebook will be shutting down soon. We will automatically export your Notebooks to Google Docs. If you have any questions, please visit our FAQ page."

The FAQ page says "We expect [the transition] to happen within the next month."
posted by inigo2 at 5:33 AM on November 6, 2011


So far what has bothered me the most about the change in Google Reader is the wasted space at the top of the page. I hate that sort of thing - it's like looking at the internet through the visor slit in a cumbersome medieval helmet.
posted by exogenous at 5:48 AM on November 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was fairly annoyed with the gmail layout until I found the "display density" options in the gear menu. I'm using the middle one now but the least dense option was the default. The new reader layout seems equivalent to the most sparse option in gmail. Hopefully, they will bring this option to reader.
posted by fedorafennec at 8:26 PM on November 6, 2011


Man, I guess I haven't watched any of these since they moved into their new digs but what is the deal with the set? Why does Leo Laporte have a throne?

The set is kind of steampunk, and meant to evoke the old TechTV set. The throne or Dr. Evil chair is a Copenhagen Spitfire Chair from Restoration Hardware, part of a large amount of furniture provided for promotional considerations. It's a crazy space with 4 main spaces for hosting shows. They got pretty deep into debt to create the set, and have a ways to go to pay it off.

As for Google Reader, it sounds like it was a wonderful experience when used fully. I only used it to anchor a Feedly account. I wonder if, after all these years, they finally figured out an online strategy beyond ad sales and search. Or if they're just following Facebook.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:32 PM on November 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


They just suddenly killed easy sharing on anything other than their own (kinda desperate) attempt to create a social network they control. There's no need to apologize for recognizing that, and it sure doesn't take a "conspiracy theory" to explain what's going on.

It's not as if they bought a competitor and shut it down. Reader was a social network they controlled. + is a social network they control. I'm a little confused as to what you think their nefarious purpose was.
posted by empath at 9:56 PM on November 6, 2011


Its probably something like "the world" is moving to iDevices and we need to echo that look and feel, oops, sorry we forgot all about you gazillions without such fancy fingertip devices (I woke up this morning with a fleeting memory of this nightmare - the whole internet designed for the iPad and I was just one of the mass majority of the planet's population making do with a mouse or some such)
posted by infini at 10:10 PM on November 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've found this script a HUGE step in the right direction.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:10 PM on November 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's not as if they bought a competitor and shut it down. Reader was a social network they controlled. + is a social network they control. I'm a little confused as to what you think their nefarious purpose was.

Well, not necessarily nefarious, but it's a pretty unsubtle way to get everyone on Reader into using Plus. The problem is that there are plenty of people who were using Google who didn't want to use Plus, or who want to use both, but for different things, and the two services were different enough that just shoving Plus onto everyone isn't a good substitute for the features Reader had.
posted by kagredon at 7:04 PM on November 7, 2011


Everyone! Everyone! Look what I found! It totally fixes* this!
http://reederforchrome.tumblr.com/

* Assuming all you care about is the UI
posted by jewzilla at 10:38 PM on November 7, 2011


I miss the bookmark let the most. I used that not just to share but as a way to quickly bookmark pages and tag them (ala delicious, or pin board). Oh well, off to find something else, way to go GOOG.

Ditto this. I don't like a lot of the other changes, but I could totally get used to them. Taking away the bookmarklet really pisses me off though.
posted by juv3nal at 1:21 AM on November 8, 2011


The userscript suggested by Chrysostom is a big help to remove extra whitespace.

For anyone out there who liked the "Explore" feature but found it dried up, here is a quick fix (you have to tell it to sort by newest instead of sort by magic).
posted by exogenous at 8:06 AM on November 9, 2011


Google just added favicons to your subscription list on the left. It's ugly as hell, but luckily you don't have to resort to a user script to turn it off. Hit the gear icon in the upper right, and it's the last setting.

Now to find a way to mute or remove the distracting red G+ button at the bottom of each feed entry...
posted by Ian A.T. at 4:50 PM on November 10, 2011


Now to find a way to mute or remove the distracting red G+ button at the bottom of each feed entry...

To answer the question raised by the handsome and witty user above, you can add the following image to AdBlock: http://ssl.gstatic.com/images/icons/gplus-16.png
posted by Ian A.T. at 4:52 PM on November 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


For anybody wondering about google notebook, today is the start of the migration.
posted by cashman at 1:37 PM on November 11, 2011


For anybody wondering about google notebook, today is the start of the migration.

Just came to post the same thing. Can't save notes anymore.

Bastards.
posted by inigo2 at 2:46 PM on November 11, 2011


What I don't understand is why the scroll wheels in the mouse don't work in these newly designed white spaces... its like, even when its a regular laptop its all glass and they're scrabbling for purchase
posted by infini at 12:56 AM on November 12, 2011


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