Monday, 18 March 2013

Monday Muster

Happy Monday, good people.

This lovely pro-stimming artwork popped up on Tumblr the other day, and is now available as a print through DeviantArt.  Isn't it delightful?


The news that's rocked my world this week is the demise of Google Reader, which is going to ruin my life because I use it to manage most of my online doings - I had somewhere well north of 1,000 individual feeds last time I added them up.  It wouldn't be a stretch to say I spend more time in Reader than I do on any actual website.  I use it for work, for vaguely work related things like following tech and social media blogs, and for my own amusement and education I use it to follow umpteen squillion blogs, webcomics, newsfeeds and updates to websites.

So I was distraught, devastated and mightily peeved when this presented itself to me:

Of course, it's a free product, and you know the old saw about getting what you pay for.  It's also a timely reminder to me to not put all my eggs in one basket - it's easy and convenient to use the one Google account for email, a calendar, maps, online document hosting, Blogger and sundy other tools, but the problem with relying on something outside your control is that, ultimately, it's outside your control.

This plug being pulled isn't entirely unexpected; there's been talk about it ever since the social tools in Reader went west a few years ago.  So I already had a vague handle on alternatives, and here's what I've come up with:

Feedly is a browser-based reader also available as a Chrome app, into which you can import your Google Reader feeds.  After a few conniptions it seems to have recovered from the sudden extra traffic from people fleeing Google Reader, and is working nicely for me.  On the downside, the navigation panel design features tiny, pale grey writing on a white background, which is not quite unreadable but certainly not easy.  And I say that as someone who has (when wearing glasses) near-enough-to-normal vision.

The Old Reader's claim to fame is that it has the social tools Google Reader no longer boasts.  I wanted very much to like it, but I'm afraid I've found it somewhat glitchy and prone to becoming unresponsive - but that may just be the unexpected load from people looking for a GR alternative.  It also seems to have resurrected hundreds of very old items in the feeds I imported - items from 2009 and 2010 are showing as unread in some cases.  I hope it sorts itself out, because I much prefer its design to that of Feedly.

Now, since this is the internet after all, have a cat video: