Google Reader is a Mess

Maybe it’s just my own fatigue at work, but I think the newly launched Google Reader for RSS/Atom feeds is a prematurely-released mess . Some cursory examples:

  1. It took forever to import my 400 feeds. Granted, that’s a lot of feeds, but it’s still a tiny file. If the issue is validation, couldn’t Google Reader import all the feeds first, then worry about whether they’re valid later? Waiting forever for importing is profoundly irritating.
  2. The left panel of main screen is filled up with names of my new feeds, except they’re all saying “You have recently subscribed to “Bu…” and then the title is clipped. You use words to tell the feed is new? That’s dumb. Use a symbol or color instead. Clipping the title so that you can tell me the feed is new is like filling my new car’s gas tank with brochures so I can’t fit in gas.
  3. There is no content in any of my feeds, even when I refresh or click hither and yon. And when I tell GR to give me old stuff, it gives me a blank screen. Huh?


  1. I have about 300 feeds that I subscribe to and have created multiple OPML from 2 different readers (Onfolio/Rojo) and G Reader chokes on each of them while importing. Not sure whats wrong. I also noticed that it already had 2 feeds on there for me. I cannot tell if it partially imported some of the opml’s or if there were already some rss feeds “picked” out for me via my Google personal search or somthing. Not quite sure where they came from. I agree though, it is kinda a mess. To be fair though, it is Beta/Labs.

  2. I agree with you, but it is funny that everyone is reviewing this as if it were a single user app running on a desktop — not that it shouldn’t perform as such, but people tend to forget there are probably a hundreds of thousands of people trying to get it to work at once. And, over the course of a day, I suspect that tens of millions of attempts will be made. That doesn’t excuse anybody. However, if you’re an engineer who has ever been asked to deliver that level of scalability and, in spite of your best efforts, weren’t able to make it happen in the first 24 hours, then it is much less likely that you’ll be critical of performance (or lack thereof) during the first few days.
    I guess the problem is that Google has set the bar so high that everyone expects immediate perfection.

  3. Google Feed Reader: YUCK!

    Ok, I thought I was missing something about the Google Feed Reader. I thought it was clumsy and flashy and mostly usefless for the way I read blogs.
    Chris Selland makes me feel less alone. [here]
    Paul Kedrosky is not amused. [here]
    Brad Hill s…

  4. Google Reader: Okay, So Where’s The Magic?

    So I tried out Google Reader today after reading of its demo at the Web 2.0 conference (another event where I refuse to drop $3,000). If Google truly believes that Reader is 2.0 because it has a bunch of superfluous

  5. Here is 10/18/2005 and there are still many problems, latency being one of them. Google may have underestimated the demand for such a product. GReader often times forgets that I have a subscription list (comes up blank).
    One thing I did want to mention, tying in greader and gmail hacks. I use to forward rss entries as emails to my gmail account. I’ve set up filters to skip the inbox and add labels (so I don’t clog my inbox). In fact, I use filters to deliver straight to the trash so I don’t have any housekeeping to do. While I’m browsing my trash for interesting entries, I can “star” and untrash the ones I want to keep. Using custom search queries helps “label:(trash igreed) is:unread” displays all of the unread infectious greed entries. The main downside is that I rely on a third party for getting the feeds to gmail (namely In addition, adding new feeds requires multiple steps (rssfwd and filters).