Two Months In: My Google Reader Gripes (and the Complaints of Others)

Dec 12, 2008 • 9:55 am | comments (2) by twitter | Filed Under Other Google Topics
 

I finally switched over to Google Reader from Bloglines after it failed me for 2 days in October. I have a few gripes of my own and wonder if Google will ever address them. For example, I don't understand why there's an incredibly annoying amount of whitespace on the right side of RSS feeds -- Google's decision to wrap text in the way that it does is, erm, annoying.

Another problem I don't like is that Google Reader can't tell me exactly how many feed items I am behind on if there are more than 1000 unread items. I have to say that I liked Bloglines telling me when I had 4342 unread items. 1000+ could mean 10000. Seriously.

A third problem I have is that I'd like to change the text of Google Reader instead of using the old school Arial. In the meantime, I'm hacking userChrome.css in Firefox, but I really shouldn't have to.

Other users are observing other issues with Google Reader, and believe it or not, I've experienced them also (but then again, if you're a Google Reader user, you probably have too). Sometimes, Google Reader says that a specific feed has one unread item. However, you may then enter that feed and find out that there are no unread items at all. It's misleading to say the least. Google Reader Guide says that "we've noticed that unread counts can get thrown off as result of tagging items from feeds you aren't actually subscribed to or by subscribing to another user's shared items feeds multiple times." Neither of these impact me, but I do see this happen ever so often. My solution is to "mark as read" and then usually it goes away. The key word here is "usually."

In any event, Google Reader Guide seems to be aware of this issue as it's still impacting a number of individuals.

Forum discussion continues at Google Groups.

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Comments:

Ketan Patel

12/13/2008 09:45 am

I've noticed these problems as well but overall it hasn't been a hindrance to my usage of Google reader so I just put up with it, but it's different for different people.

Nathan Hawks

12/13/2008 04:25 pm

For misleading counts, this solution takes about as many clicks but seems to work faster, and also, updates all your folders/feeds: In the nav sidebar, the little triangle button in each module's upper-right, is where they moved the old 'Refresh' button. That gets rid of my magical "1 unread." My least favorite new bug: Toggling the unread button doesn't always work for me anymore! When it doesn't, the replacement image (the checked box) won't show up. After some retries I get it marked unread according to the counts. Before noticing this, I was losing track of articles. The joy!

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