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New Google Reader GUI Gets Bad Press

Just in time to make your candy hangover even worse, Google’s decided to fiddle with the layout/appearance of it’s Reader product. Naturally the squeaky wheel gets the up-votes, so most of the reactions getting attention are going to be negative. Let me break that trend and explain why with this post.

Google Reader Logo getting Club'd

Over on the official Google Reader Blog, Alan Green had the task of explaining the new look and improvements. The first image posted is ideal, great use of space, very use-able and very little room for improvement:

New Google Reader Layout

Sure there’s a bit of ‘padding’ in the header, and there’s a bit of white space going on, but as you can see, a well used reader account won’t be staring at gulfs of great white spaces that most folks seem to be taking issue with.

The next common point of ‘contention’ is the display of news items, and the amount of screen space that the actual text is getting on the reader screen:

Complaint about reader space

This really seems to be coming from the ‘more is better’ camp who only have 19″ screens. If you put things for me to read stretched across my screen from edge to edge, I would take longer to read it, and my neck would get sore from panning my large displays. If I was making this observation on my home setup it’d be even worse than my work displays.

Plus there’s already a ton of CSS hacks you can apply to change/tweak the layout to fit your needs. A Google search will dig up tons of these, I don’t need to sponsor any particular solution but the first I found did a great job of tightening up the UI.

So with all the negativity aside, what was the Google Reader update all about? Well I can sum it up with one word “Google+”.

To quote the official reader blog:

The ability to +1 a feed item (replacing “Like”), with an option to then share it with your circles on Google+ (replacing “Share” and “Share with Note”).

Integrating with Google+ also helps us streamline Reader overall. So starting today we’ll be turning off friending, following, shared items and comments in favor of similar Google+ functionality.

So it was a needed update, with a bit of give and take. The authors of the post knew there’d be feedback, negativity, and the usual ‘quiet riot’ around the changes. They even suggested, to anyone that doesn’t leave over the update (their words not mine), that comments and concerns would be great to hear. Plus they also gave a handy link to the import/export settings so your decision to stay doesn’t have to be marred by concerns of how to make the switch.

Now we move on to discuss the new GMail UI changes.. Does it ever end? :)

SEO news blog post by @ 12:18 pm on November 1, 2011


 

“I’m Not Dead Yet!” – the Future of RSS

I came across a great post from Graywolf (Michael Gray) where he was discussed Preparing for The Death of RSS (Really Simple Syndication). He states that while many techie/nerdy types use RSS to help organize and sort through the large number of blogs and news feeds, the simple fact is that RSS is not being implemented widely by the “regular” public.

Judging by the numbers of related searches on Google regarding this topic, I might be inclined to agree. He goes on to state that even the Google Reader Tech Crunch has only around 347 000 subscribers. He argues that RSS feeds are useless in connecting with you customers.


While this may be true to some degree, I have to disagree with Graywolf. There will always be a need for RSS. Or, if not RSS , then a similar news feeder? RSS was created to serve the very specific purpose of publishing frequently updated content such as blog entries, news headlines, and audio and video files in a standardized format.

There will continue to be a need for RSS for years to come. If not from internet users en masse, then by techies and those involved in blog or media distribution.

SEO news blog post by @ 6:11 pm on March 10, 2011

Categories:RSS

 

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