Experiences With Google Reader

Google ReaderI have been using Google Reader for a couple of weeks now. It has become quite addictive and very time-consuming.

I started to use it as a way to keep track of my Flickr friends’ photos and the few blogs and news sites that I read regularly. But now my list has grown to over 50 feeds excluding my Flickr friends.

One reason is that Google Reader is very good at suggesting new feeds based upon the ones you already subscribe to. I guess it isn’t brain surgery but it does have an uncanny knack of finding interesting blogs for me to peruse.

Along with its suggestions Google Reader also presents “popular” posts from a wide variety of sources – apparently unrelated to the interests that it has observed in my subscriptions. That’s clever as it helps me widen my interests. If I mark a post it shows me as “like” then it claims it will show me more like it. Interesting it does not allow me to mark something as “don’t like”.

It has not shown me anything objectionable but a lot of the popular stuff is boring to me and many posts seem to be repeated. Maybe that’s how many bloggers get traffic: they copy appealing posts from others.

The design has some downsides. I have been following the official Adobe Lightroom Forums. The discussions there are threads of questions and answers. Google Reader does not (cannot?) maintain that threaded context so I see many answers but it is hard to go back to the original question. Google Reader is much better suited to regular blogs and news sites than the threaded format.

While Google Reader has saved me time looking through many different sites it is also a bit of a time sink. With my slow internet connection from Thailand it is often slow to load new content and the more sources I add the slower it gets. I need to prune out the sites that I am not very interested in and get back a core set that I truly want to know about.

Despite its evident polish Google reader isn’t immune to displaying confusing error messages such as


Google Reader Unexpected Condition

Google Reader Unexpected Condition


“Sorry, an unexpected condition has occurred which has prevented Google Reader from fulfilling the request.”

What’s that meant to mean? What can I do about it?

I think it was merely a communication error or timeout but the message didn’t help at all.


2 Responses to “Experiences With Google Reader”

  1. BKKPhotographer Says:

    I cannot see how to rename a folder. I decided to simplify my folder structure and moved everything into one of four existing folders. I’d like to rename them approprioately but cannot see a way. Strange.


    […] of the time Google Reader does a good job of parsing stories and presenting them. But some of the time it includes a load of […]

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