How to Survive The Upcoming Google Reader Apocalypse

I’ve been using Google Reader for about eight years, if memory serves me well. The service has never been perfect, but it allowed me to skim and read thousands of articles everyday for my job. It’s something that can become quite unmanageable if you don’t keep up to date with them every day. Just like many users, I was pretty shocked when Google announced that it was sunsetting the service. It had become a central part of the way that I read many articles, and I had trouble thinking of another way being able to accomplish the same thing.

google reader shutdown

Read more @ Technabob

GReader Problems

WTF is up with Google Reader today? It’s taken me twice as long to read my feeds. I tried rebooting, using Chrome and restarting FF. No change. Slow and buggy.

It’s taken me over 65 minutes to write my first post of the day. I’d allotted 45 minutes for two posts. That totally sucks balls.

How To Make Me Stop Reading Your Blog

I’ve been in that situation.

The situation is this. Do you publish full entries in your RSS feed, or you publish excerpts? The only reason why people only publish excerpts is to force readers to visit their sites, usually it’s tied to some ad scheme.

Let me tell you this.

I read/skim about 500-800 blog posts daily, most of the time for my job as a freelance blogger. I still read blog posts for fun. However, if a site only publishes excerpts, I won’t follow through to their site to read the complete post. It happens from time to time. I usually just skim the excerpt and move on.

There are notable exceptions, but if a blog creates a lot of content, it’s also hard to keep up. For example, 3QDaily. I’ve been skimming it for a while, and I do read some pieces, but the site just generates too much material to read the posts fully everyday. The opposite of this is The Smart Set. I’ve managed to read fully all of the essays ever since I started reading the site.

On Literacy In Cyberspace

A great article by Kevin Kelly about literacy vs cyberspace. The main focus of this article was to see the comparison with offline reading and online reading.

I do understand the problem. How does reading a novel in your bed compare to reading blogs through your RSS reader?

First of all, blog readers do follow a lot of blogs. By itself, this means that they aren’t reading every single word. Personally, I tend to separate skimming blogs and reading blogs. Blogs that I read and blogs that I skim.

Why?

Not everything is worth to be read. I will read most of the personal blogs, but sometimes they digress and I skim. Most of the blogs I read for work are skimmed. Starred and shelved for later use once something interesting is found. Personally, I find it much more productive to do this through feeds, instead of newspapers.

I don’t think this type of reading compares with reading a book. What we can compare is reading a ebook on a computer/laptop/PDA and reading a book.

I don’t really skim anything that I read in that fashion. I usually prefer buying books in the physical sense, but after the first few hundred books, reading gets expensive, especially if you buy hardcover novels. Ebooks are cheaper and easier to get. I don’t particularly like reading them on my computer though, but hey, it accomplishes what I set out to do.

There is something pleasurable and analog about getting a good book with a cup of tea and leisurely reading. Recently, I’ve read about 5 books in the last week. Some of them physical, some of the electronic.

I think that the most important thing when you get ready to read for reading, is to not be distracted by anything else. By this, I mean that you shouldn’t really read ebooks while being logged on the internet. I disconnect and concentrate solely on the book.

This isn’t always easy, especially when you work from home as a freelance blogger, but it gives you a good respite and refreshens your creative juices. Over the weekend, I’ve managed to read about 4 books. I also got a lot of work done.

My love for reading was fostered at a very young age, when I saw my mother reading voraciously. She in turn taught me the value of reading. Ever since I was a child, I have been reading… voraciously. In time, I developped a personal taste. My mother continued to move on in life, and has now become a published author, which is something I want to accomplish as well.

There is no point in really going on about how fast I read. I do read fast. The better the book, the faster I will read it. There are probably a lot of people out there who read faster than I do.

Blogging Habits

What are your blogging habits?

What do you use to read your blogs?

Do you spend hours each day reading content?

I’ve been using Google Reader and even though if I was initially put off by the interface, it’s grown on me, just like the Gmail interface. I wish that more people would just publish their whole posts through their feeds instead of excerpts.

I read blogs posts everyday, but contrary to compulsive blog readers, it’s something I really enjoy. I take my time. I rarely comment on blogs. I used to comment a lot. I comment from time to time on blogs of people that I’ve known for a while, and on my own blog, but most of the time, I just read posts diagonally. There are some exceptions of course. Like Dooce. I find Heather’s posts really nifty and I savor them. Some of the bigger blogs don’t even allow comments, so the only way to comment would be to reblog them and send a trackback.

I’ve structured my blog reading as well. The first thing I do is go through the link blogs that I read, like Kottke, Clusterflock and a few others. If there are any interesting links, I blog them. Otherwise I move on. Then I read the blogs that post content. Some blogs like Dosh Dosh, Steve Pavlina and Copyblogger require that I focus completely on them. So I leave these for later.

I’ve got more than a few math blogs that I read. Most of them are from professors. Naturally, I don’t understand everything in their posts, but what I do understand is really interesting. There are art blogs, design blogs, photography blogs and a selection of others. At the last count, I think I’m reading under 200 blogs.

Then there are the people I’ve actually met and know. Followed by the people that I’ve been reading for years like K, Jessica Doyle, Angry Aussie and Lenina.