Sunday, July 08, 2012

Google Reader Sucks

If you are not an IT geek you can stop reading now and go onto the next post or go here. If you are an IT geek and use an RSS feed to read this blog then please read on. I know there are about 120 of you because there is a widget in the side bar which says so and when I log into feedburner it tells me that about half of you use Google Reader as do I, at least until now.

I used to use the Reader embedded into Internet Explorer but that had the disadvantage of being specific to my home PC. I could not access it from any other machine. So I went over to Google Reader which I can log onto from anywhere on the web. All well and dandy except I have found a problem with it.

I do have this blog on RSS feed myself just so that I know it’s working, and work it does to a fashion. But this is the problem. If I update a post with some breaking news for example, or add some more events in one of those monthly look ahead posts, Google Reader will update the post but it doesn’t actually tell you it’s been updated and it leaves the post in exactly the same position in the sequence of published posts.

All the other Readers I have tried flag it up as Unread and place it at the top of the list. In fact if you look at the base RSS page that is exactly what it does, but Google Reader ignores it.

Earlier this week I did something I had not done before. I wanted to do an update post on the proposed Lidl supermarket. I could have done a new post and put a link back to the original but decided I wanted all the comments in one place, so I updated the old post and changed the date to make it current last Monday. That post will have been updated on Google Reader but it will not have been flagged up as “new content” and will be in the same place as determined by its original publication date. So, all you Google Reader readers will have missed it, as will anybody who is subscribed to the blogger subscription email facility.

I haven’t tried all the Readers yet, and I’m not sure I know of them all anyway, but if anyone can recommend a good one I would be grateful. Otherwise it looks like I will be migrating to Sage on Firefox or going back to Internet Explorer.


  1. I've been using Google Reader for years and it's a lot quicker than wading through the BBC website to find news items. Also I can send my own posts to Google+ and Facebook very easily from Google Reader. You're complaining about one of its limitations, but you know it exists. I write a new post when I want to update something and I link to the previous post.

    If you find a better Reader than Google, please let us know. I haven't come across one.

  2. What's Google Reader? I just type BARKINGSIDE 21 into the box and press a button and up comes the link. I use GOOGLE all the time. Is there something I should know?

    1. No, Ron. What you are using is the Google Internet Search Engine, which is fine.

      What we are discussing here is Google Reader which "constantly checks your favorite news sites and blogs for new content" automatically, but doesn't tell you it has done so in all cases.

    2. Ron, the point is that Google Reader allows you to see the updates to all the news sites that you add to it on one page.

  3. Ron, why type anything in the Google search box when all you need to do is add Barkingside 21 to your Favorites? Then all you do is click on the name Barkingside 21 and the saved link takes you there.

    Google Reader is a news service. You subscribe to websites you want to monitor, such as Barkingside 21. Whenever a new post is added to Barkingside 21, Google Reader adds it to its list.