Tag Archive: googlereader

Farewell Google Reader – The “Free Problem”

Google reader dead


Everyone loves Free products, but just look at the last few weeks/months  here is a list of services or apps I use(d) that are going away


Tweetdeck (Air version)


Google Reader


There are others like Otixo which I used which transitioned from Freemium to paid, at which point I made a value judgement that it was not worth it to me to pay for that service.  Ultimately you get what you pay for, and when you are not paying, you are simply hoping the free service you are using continues to be there or can even financially remain viable.

Google Reader is obviously the one that hurts I have been using it since its inception back on 2005, and it us a big part of my daily workflow.  I get a lot of information in Google Reader, and its ability to sync with mobile clients for reading on the go is valuable.  Rather than dwell on this I am sure a suitable replacement will appear, there is clearly a need for a quality RSS reader with all the syncing, and someone will fill the void.

The bigger lesson here is I am going to have to take a look at the services/apps I use and assign them value, which are nice to have and if they go away so be it, which are important and if I am paying for or willing to pay for?  I think of things like the Free edition of Google Apps which Google no longer offers.  How long will it be before Google pulls the plug on that and tells me to pay or get out?

So over the next month or so I will try to better catalog what I use, and what value they have, and determine if my data or apps are right for me.   That is the real lesson here you should do the same.

Integrating Google Reader with IBM Connections Bookmarks

One of IBM Connections features is Bookmarks, where you can save and share bookmarks, in addition to simply sharing a bookmark you can share it with a Community, add it to an Activity, or create a blog post out of it, all from the same bookmarklet.


Nice functionality, but I find a lot of content to share while in Google Reader, so I thought it would be nice to be able to share directly from Google Reader in to IBM Connections.  Google Reader allows you to create your own Send To Actions so you can share beyond the services they already set up for you.  You can find and customize the Send To actions in Google Reader Preferences


at the bottom of the page you will find instructions for creating your own Send To actions


I added a Sent To action for IBM Connections in the Lotus Greenhouse, to configure for your own site just replace ‘greenhouse.lotus.com’ with the URL of your own Connections installation.  There are three fields required to create a Send To action


Name: This is how it will appear in your menu (IBM Connections in my example)

URL: this is the URL to the bookmarklet along with the keywords for URL, Title, etc. Mine looks like this

http://greenhouse.lotus.com/dogear/bookmarklet/post?url=${url}&title=${title}&perma=false&ver= again replace the ‘greenhouse.lotus.com’ with your URL for your Connections environment.

Icon URL: if you want an image to appear next to the Name you can point to an image here, I pointed to the Bookmark Image from greenhouse.

Save your Sent To action and you can now share directly from Google Reader in to IBM Connections


If you use Google Reader on multiple machines the Send To action will appear on any machine you log in to with the same Google ID you created it under.  If you IBM Connections environment is behind a firewall, the Send To action will only work when you have access to Connections.

Google Readers Hidden Features

Last night I decided to clean up my feed reader a little, enough people asked about finding the “inactive feeds” view in Google Reader that I figured I would put it here. First I like Google Reader it has a nice clean interface, is available from any computer, and presents my feeds to me in a way that I can process them quickly easily finding the items I want to read and ignore the rest.  There are also many apps that synchronize with google reader for mobile or offline reading.  For me it is Feedler on iOS, and NewsRob on Android which allow me to keep up when I am not in front of my computer.  I also used the starred items feature to mark stuff to read later, and I also share items in Google Reader and follow other people who share. Now back to the topic at hand, cleaning up feeds that no longer provide content.   In Google Reader on the upper left hand side look for the “Trends Link” 11-5-2010 7-04-28 AM Where you can find out all kinds of interesting things like this 11-5-2010 7-05-49 AM You can also see the statistics for each feed you subscribe to, I look at this sometimes and when I see I am reading 1% of a particular feeds posts I can easily determine it is clutter and unsubscribe.  (As a side note, the only item in my reader which is consistently at 100% of items read is the Daily Dilbert Feed). Finally on the right side you have your Subscription Trends view where the second tab will show you your inactive feeds (I also like the obscure feed view) and allow you to unsubscribe using the trash can 11-5-2010 7-06-33 AM Before anyone asks yes I know about Feedly I have tried it a few times, I find that I can get through my feeds more efficiently in Google Reader, but if you have not looked at Feedly it integrates with Google Reader and is worth a look Google Reader is a lot more then just a feed reader, if you are using it already take a little time to explore some of it’s social features, and other tools that can help you find the information you are looking for.  You can follow my Google Reader Shared items here.