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Google Reader: Actually Quite Good


I've been using NetNewsWire for as long as I've been reading RSS feeds. I like it. A lot. It's a very well done piece of software. However, it has pretty much stopped any new, active, or interesting development since Ranchero Software (the makers of NetNewsWire) was acquired by NewsGator.

Well, that's not entirely fair. There is an Alpha version of the 3.0 release available that I have been using for the last couple of months. Unfortunately, it doesn't really have anything new. I was looking forward to the expanded view, but the performance was so poor that I quickly turned that option off.

The other problem I was having with NetNewsWire is that the overall performance and memory consumption had greatly increased. You see, I had been using NetNewsWire as the search engine to look through my 311 feeds for articles that I was interested in. As such, I never deleted an article from the cache. I always had about 10,000 articles that were unread and tens of thousands of articles that had been read. I don't think NetNewsWire really could scale to the sheer number of articles effectively, without consuming memory and making my laptop swap.

I looked at Google Reader when it was first announced, but it was complete junk.

Google updated it, so I decided to give it another try.

Congrats to the Google Reader team. It's actually quite good! It just may stick for me.

I particularly like the "Expanded View" and quickly stepping through articles with the "j" keyboard shortcut.

Now, if I could only get a couple more features...

  • The ability to have "smart tags" that search through articles and the articles that match the search criteria end up in the "tags" folder automatically. I use this to automatically spot the companies that I care about that are hits in my collection of RSS feeds.

  • The ability to search through all the articles in all of my RSS feeds, going back to the beginning of the feed. Google is a search company, right? Why isn't there a "search" field on the Google Reader page?

I'm sure I'll find other features that I'd like once I spend more time in Google Reader. I'll keep you posted.

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  1. [...] Back in November 2006, I wrote the article, Google Reader: Actually Quite Good. [...]

  2. [...] pretty much confirms what I expected. I previously wrote about my switch to using Google Reader. Apparently, many others have as [...]

  3. [...] Then, read it with your favorite news/feed reader. Mine’s Google Reader. [...]

  4. [...] pretty much confirms what I expected. I previously wrote about my switch to using Google Reader. Apparently, many others have as well. Burning Questions • FeedBurner’s View of the Feed [...]


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