Posts Tagged ‘google reader’

Syndication, Comments and Attribution

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

I write all of these posts on, as I have been doing for about 5 years. In the last several months, I’ve found that a larger portion of my readership is through syndication through Facebook and Buzz. The clearest effect of this shift has been that the comments left are now divided among at least three places: the original post itself, the Buzz/Reader items, and the Facebook note. This isn’t really a huge problem, but it does cut down on the interaction via comment as well as make it a bit more work for me to keep up with (especially since I try not to be on facebook too much).

I wish Facebook did a better job of attribution when it imported my blog posts. You can find a link to the original post if you try hard enough, but it’s not obvious… several friends have mentioned “oh, I read that facebook note that you posted” which had me quite confused for a while. It’s quite understandable that they were mistaken this way, but for some reason it bothers me. Maybe it’s because I don’t want my mode of communication to be compared to Sarah Palin’s.

Another friend blogging

Sunday, January 4th, 2009

I meant to post this a while ago, but my friend Jeff from high school started a blog: American Catharsis. It’s an outlet for his creative writing and poetry, and it’s quite good (though I’m a bit behind, as I’ve starred several items for reading later).

The one problem I have with poetry and creative writing blogs is that they end up getting mixed in with all the blogs that I skim, so I have to either switch reading styles or star them for later reading. I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it makes me wonder if I should compartmentalize them in some better way.

Cleaned Reader

Monday, December 15th, 2008

In Google Reader, I use the starred items as a repository of things that are either “to blog about” or “to read”. When I go back through these, I often end up deciding that I’m no longer interested, but things piled up in there for quite a while. Tonight I went through all of them, removing hundreds of items, leaving a manageable 37 on my to-do list. It would be nice to have that cleared out for the new year…

I need some sleep.

Reading Method

Monday, October 13th, 2008

I’m subscribed to about 100 feeds in Google Reader, and probably about half of them update on a regular basis. 30 of them average at least a post per day, with the highest posting rate averaging 45 posts per day. I average 177 posts read per day.

Some people certainly read more than this, but this is enough to require a system for reading, so here’s my method for reading with Google Reader:

  1. USE KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS! Press the ‘?’ key when you’re in reader to get a list. If you’re not using the J button or the space bar, you’re going to be wasting time. Shortcuts I use:
    • space – next item or page down (it’s rather smart!)
    • j – next item
    • k – previous item
    • s – star current item
    • shift + s – share current item
  2. If something needs to be revisited for any reason, star it. Reasons for revisiting:
    • It’s more text than I feel like reading now
    • It’s a video and I don’t have headphones or a fast enough connection now
    • I want to write a blog post about it later (probably the most common reason for a star)

    I star about 1% of posts I read.

  3. Share items I find interesting or funny, but I don’t have much to say about. I don’t have a strict methodology for what to share vs. blog about, but I tend to blog about things I find more important or if I have some sort of comment.
  4. Skim like crazy, learn which blogs are worth reading more carefully and which ones are usually skippable. This isn’t really an insight of any sort, but it’s important.
  5. When you run out of new items (as I do almost every day), start working backwards through your starred items (new -> old). Always handle the top one before moving on to the ones below it.

Going back to the starred items later has two important effects for me: First, I often decide upon the second review that the item isn’t worth writing about. Second, when I get overwhelmed, the backlog gets tackled in reverse-order. The backlog is currently quite large, so expect some modest time travel soon.