Tagged: reader

Google Reader auto sort

[[http://reader.google.com|Google Reader]] offers several options for [[http://www.google.com/support/reader/bin/answer.py?answer=69980&topic=12012|sorting feed items]]. After having played around with the “auto-sort” for several months now, I am reverting back to “Sort by newest”.

{{ http://www.google.com/googlereader/images/logo_reader.gif|Google Reader}}

The problem is that the auto-sort mode is a little too simplistic. Here’s what it does in their own words:

//This works by prioritizing subscriptions with fewer items. So, with this setting, your friend’s blog with one item a month will not be drowned out by higher volume sites such as the New York Times because we’ll raise the blog to the top.//

The general idea behind auto-sort is good, but unfortunately the execution hasn’t evolved at all to become smarter. For instance, some blogs I read haven’t been updated in a while. And I’m really not interested in the stuff they wrote some months back. So I never read those few old posts and yet they continue to hang around at the top of my feeds, which gets annoying quickly.

Ideally, the auto-sort should also take into account my reading trends (they obviously collect all this data, so might as well use it). In my case, what I really want the auto-sort to do is this: if there are some old posts and I’m consistently choosing not to read them, then perhaps they don’t need to be raised to the top any more. If I need to find them, I can always do so. In fact, I wouldn’t even mind if the old posts were raised to the top of the list once in a while.

An even smarter auto-sort will also take into account my reading habits. If there’s an infrequently updated blog that I read religiously, then I definitely don’t want to miss even an old post, no matter what. Similarly, old posts from an inactive blog that I have stopped following should be given less weight.

How do you sort your feeds?

Google Reader archiving less?

For the past few weeks, I have been noticing that all of a sudden, the unread count in a lot of my folders in [[http://reader.google.com|Google Reader]] has dropped significantly. I haven’t read that many articles, nor have I removed any prolific feeds. The only other explanation is that Google Reader is archiving (or at the very least, displaying) lesser data than before.

I couldn’t find anything in the Settings that would govern how far back in my feeds can I go. The [[http://www.google.com/support/reader/|Help Center]] doesn’t have any useful answers either. Does any one know the details on this? I’m also interested to find out what data the Search function has access to: that is, is the search capable of going back beyond what Reader shows to me?

Google Reader dumbness

While I love and use Google Reader every single day, some of its dumb-ness really annoys the hell out of me. Specially because these bugs are relatively easy to fix.

For instance, Google Reader doesn’t detect duplicate feeds. In particular, it will let me add the //same// feed, to the //same// folder as many times I like. Check out the screenshot for a sample.

{{ http://floatingsun.net/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/screenshot3.png|Duplicate feeds in Google Reader}}

Similarly, if I have the same feed in two different folders (or labels, in GMail lingo), Reader doesn’t mark an item as read if I read it in one of the folders. GMail already does this quite nicely, so I’m at a total loss as to why Reader doesn’t do it.

I’ve already [[http://floatingsun.net/2006/12/08/google-reader-needs-rename-tags/|ranted earlier]] about the lack of support for renaming tags/folder names, and the __still__ obviously missing search. Its kind of funny that search giant Google won’t let me search my feeds in its flagship feed reader.

Come on Google Reader team, you can surely do better! (btw, I did search the [[http://groups.google.com/group/google-reader-help|Google group for Reader]], but couldn’t find any useful information on these issue)