Sean McNamara alerted me via the comments on this blog that my RSS feed was broken (thanks a million Sean). I sorted that out this morning so it should be good again and Google Reader is certainly having no problem seeing my posts now.
So what happened? To be honest, I’m not entirely sure (!) but I think it had more to do with my FeedBurner account than WordPress, per se.
The sequence of events was along the lines of
Then I saw Sean’s comment. Uh oh! I went over to Google Reader and sure enough no posts for the last couple of days were present, d’oh!
I checked back my FeedBurner Plugin config and while all seemed ok, when I checked the “create a FeedBurner feed for …” link, it looks like that the updated plugin created a new feed for the blog.
This meant I had to head over to the FeedBurner site and set up the new feed from scratch – a considerable annoyance. All my stats on my old feed are no longer associated with the new one.
Strictly, this wasn’t a WordPress issue, more of a left-field issue associated with upgrading the FeedBurner plugin. However, the lack of support by WordPress for older plugins is the only reason I upgraded – triggering the loss of my RSS feed.
I was delighted to see Jeff Nolan has started to work for NewsGator.
Jeff, who has previously worked for Teqlo and SAP was one of the best speakers we had at the it@cork annual conference last year.
NewsGator, the company he is joining, are the leading RSS client company, powering FeedDemon and NetNewsWire as well as NewsGator. I have used and evangelised NetNewsWire (RSS Reader for Mac) for years until my recent conversion to Google Reader.
To paraphrase Jackie:
Jeff, well done on finding an interesting company to work for. As someone who hasnâ€™t found that yet (hence the continued consultant status), I can imagine how much that means to you.
Delighted for you.
This is a great video explaining the reason why RSS is so powerful in non-tech speak!
Google has done a significant upgrade of the mobile version of Google Reader, as well as the desktop version. I haven’t seen this written up anywhere yet (apologies if you wrote it up and I missed your post).
Look at the bottom of the screenshot above. There are new links for Tags, Subscriptions, Settings, Sign Out, More Google Products and Google Labs.
This is fantastic – previously Google Reader’s functionality on mobile devices was limited to viewing the 10 most recent posts in your feed.
Now you can change the number of posts displayed (5, 10, or 20) in the Settings, view your posts by Tag, view your Starred and Shared items (in the Tags page) and log into your other Google applications.
This has to be the strongest indication yet that the heavily rumoured gPhone is imminent. There is a bit of work to do on it – moving from the Google Reader to Google Calendar requires you to re-enter your Google account info, for example. This should be maintained across Google apps obviously. Other than that it seems to work flawlessy though.
Overnight Google added search functionality to Google Reader.
What is amazing is that it took so long for an ostensibly search-related company to add this to the Reader.
Having said that, the search functionality rolled out is extensive allowing searching of individual feeds, all feeds, or by folder lavel.
If you don’t see this functionality in your reader account, try logging out and logging back in again.
Another bit of previously available functionality I missed is the ability to collapse the left-hand sidebar with just the keyclick u (as in the image above) and the ability to call up a list of keyboard shortcuts just by clicking ?
Google Reader is getting better and better. It is now my main reader and has helped me enormously in being more efficient in my feed reading. Google Reader’s only serious competition, Bloglines needs to do something drastic or it will lose out completely to Google.
I saw this story on Techmeme this morning and I simply couldn’t believe it – but it is true!
A guy called Danny Carlton has decided to block ALL Firefox users from his site because:
The Mozilla Foundation and its Commercial arm, the Mozilla Corporation, has allowed and endorsed Ad Block Plus, a plug-in that blocks advertisement on web sites and also prevents site owners from blocking people using it. Software that blocks all advertisement is an infringement of the rights of web site owners and developers. Numerous web sites exist in order to provide quality content in exchange for displaying ads. Accessing the content while blocking the ads, therefore would be no less than stealing. Millions of hard working people are being robbed of their time and effort by this type of software
Now, you will be aware that not all Firefox owners have installed Adblock but no matter, Danny is blocking them too. As he says himself:
If you are offended by the Mozilla Corporation’s endorsement of dishonesty please contact the Mozilla Foundation and ask them to stop empowering internet theft.
This is so silly as to be laughable. Either the guy is trolling looking for links (you won’t find any here Danny) or he really is a tad challenged!
In the first place, as Mike Arrington notes
I wonder why he continues to provide a full content feed, sans ads, at jacklewis.net/weblog/atom.xml (and it has been reposted here). Those users are â€œstealingâ€ his content, too. What about them? Perhaps heâ€™ll now turn his attention to the evils of RSS.
and in the second place, there are adblocking plugins available for Internet Explorer, as well as Firefox.
Will Danny now block Internet Explorer users from accessing his site too?
One of the advantages of Google Reader is that you can view it on multiple devices and it is always in sync. At least that’s the theory anyway!
However, it has been annoying me that whenever I view my feeds on my phone (Nokia E65) the list of unread posts looks very different.
I took a screenshot of Google Reader this morning on my Mac and on my phone so you can see what I am talking about. Both devices had their cache cleared before I loaded Google Reader and took the screenshots.
First off, the phone
Now the Mac
As you can see, there are lots of feeds missing from the version on the phone.
I deleted all the folders on Google Reader so that all my feeds are at the top level (in case the phone was only seeing one particular folder) but this didn’t help.
Is anyone else having this issue and is their a way to get around it?
I have now completely moved over to using Google Reader as my primary RSS reader. And it appears I am in good company!
I started using it regularly while on holidays on my phone and I grew to like it – particularly the ability to Star and Share posts.
Now I’m using it full-time, not only for these features, but also because I can use it on my Vaio, my MacBook Pro and my mobile phone (I still read and Share many items on the phone at home).
There is really cool trending software in Google Reader as well to help you figure out which blogs update regularly (with a one-click option to unsubscribe from ones which don’t), which blogs you Star and/or Share and it charts your reading activity by day (and by time of day).
The only thing which annoys me about it is that the list of unread items my phone displays differs from the list my computers display. I don’t know why this is, they are running from the same account, reading the same subscription list. Has anyone else noticed this?
If you’d like to follow the items I’m Sharing from my subscription list (i.e. follow what I am recommending) you can:
TechDirt has an article explaining why full feeds lead to more page views on your site than partial feeds.
From the article:
Full text feeds makes the reading process much easier. It means it’s that much more likely that someone reads the full piece and actually understands what’s being said — which makes it much, much, much more likely that they’ll then forward it on to someone else, or blog about it themselves, or post it to Digg or Reddit or Slashdot or Fark or any other such thing — and that generates more traffic and interest and page views from new readers, who we hope subscribe to the RSS feed and become regular readers as well. The whole idea is that by making it easier and easier for anyone to read and fully grasp our content, the more likely they are to spread it via word of mouth, and that tends to lead to much greater adoption than by limiting what we give to our readers and begging them to come to our site if they want to read more than a sentence or two.
I have long had full feeds on this site and have written numerous times about the merit of full feeds.
Further, I don’t subscribe to any sites which only publish partial feeds – it is a waste of my time having to click through to read the full article on the original site.
You can be sure I am not the only one who thinks this way!
I’m really growing to love Google Reader!
The interface is fantastic. The keyboard shortcuts make using it a joy (not to mention, really fast).
Normally one of the main drawbacks of an online RSS Reader is that you can’t use it when you are offline (on a train, plane, whatever), however Google Reader overcame this shortcoming by launching Offline functionality in Google Reader. You can now read the last 2,000 posts while not connected, if you need to!
The ability to Star and more importantly Share your posts is an incredible boon. I then use Mario Romero’s Reader application to embed my shared items into my Facebook profile.
As I mentioned previously, the mobile version works really well (except on my Nokia E65 the numeric shortcuts don’t work) and as it is online, it is always in synch with the desktop version.
What other features of Google Reader are there which I neglected to mention?