Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Geek Rantings and Ravings

I'll admit it - Bloglines was my first feed reader. and I fell deeply in love. I learned how to use three or four others for a project at work, but Bloglines has always been my first love. But then, a few months ago, the powers that be cut off my access to Bloglines from my work PC. And since - believe it or not - I actually use RSS to keep up with quite a bit of my professional reading, that really hurt. Suddenly, I had to use Blogliens for home and something else for work. I really didn't want TWO aggregators though, so I tried to find something to *gasp* replace Bloglines all together. That something else was Google Reader. I know that GR is a lot better than it was when it was first released. I know that it's still in "the lab" (that's pre-beta, right?). But still.... I hate the fact that when I put a new feed in, it says that EVERY entry was just posted. I know full well that it wasn't, because I know that something heralding the beginning of National Novel Writing Month was probably written back around the end of October/beginning of Novermber. But no item ever gets an accurate timestamp - it just gives me the timestamp of when GR found it for me. I want to know when it was posted, not when the spider deigned to check the feed again. It drives me crazy that it can take HOURS for most feeds to be updated. Especially Blogger feeds - which is just crazy, since that's a Google product too. Of course, I notice this on my own blog (go ahead and call me narcissistic) when I post something and it takes forever to update (I put up a post around 8:30 this morning. It's 12:10 and it's till not showing up) Not that I'm keeping track of any word-saving information...but I'm part of the Y Generation, and I want things IMMEDIATELY. There's no way to set the default for all new feeds to display with the oldest entry first. Yes, I know how to change it when I add it. I don't think I should have to go through those two clicks on this EVERY time I add something. (see Generation Y comment, and file under "I also want things EASY") I've tried three times to load my OPML file from Bloglines. It has never picked up even half of the feeds. Granted, there were 180+ the first time I tried - but I still don't want to sit down and manually enter 90+ feeds. Updates to previous entries don't always come through as a new item. I'm still trying to figure out why that's not 100% yes/100% no thing. I love the fact that in Bloglines you can tell it to display all items for any feed from the last 24 hours. Or 48 hours. Or 72 hours. or a week. Or a month. Or you can tell it "show me everything". Why would I want to see anything but the new stuff? Because sometimes, I'll see something (this happens a lot for my work feeds) and I go past it, because I don't think it's relevant to me. And then lo and behold, two days later, someone's talking about that VERY thing. So I want to go back and find it. Google Reader has one way to do this: by choosing "view all items". And since I've told it to always show the oldest item first, what I'm looking for is at the bottom. And if there are more than 20 items loading, it has to find them in groups of 20. So I tell it to display the newest first (two more clicks), find what I want, and hopefully remember to change it back to displaying the oldest first (two more clicks).And I don't always remember which blog/feed I found the info on in the first place, so I'm doing this with multiple feeds. (I would just go to the blogs sites to look for the info, since that would be MUCH quicker - but 99% of blogs are blocked by the filters at work, so an aggregator is the only way to read the info from my desk PC). (please, please, please let me know if you have a solution for any of these!!!!) Ok, there are a few things I REALLY like. Because I'm a *cough* nerd, I love the "trends" that tell you how much and when about everything. Percentages are right after sex, chocolate and wine on my list of things that make me happy. And, since I'm still using Blogger - and I upgraded to their new "thing" - I love the "share items" widget that I can (and did) put on my blog. I'm wondering if I might need to find something else, because the things that drive me crazy REALLY drive me crazy. The problem is, as much as I miss some things about Bloglines, it's a pain to learn the ins and outs of a new aggregator, set up all your preferences, (hopefully) import your subscriptions etc. And I know that day is coming, because sooner or later, the powers that be will block Google Reader, too. I guess I want the impossible - I want my Bloglines back. {Wow - this turned into a very long rant!}

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