Re: The sky is falling!

1

In one of the all-time great accidental timing moves I can think of, this site launched like a couple weeks ago. It is so overloaded I can't import my subscriptions right now, and so I was tempted not to tell you about it, but anyhow.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 6:13 PM
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This is going to be epochal for me, sad though that is. Reader was what vaulted me from checking a few sites every so often to having a blogroll and really getting into it all.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 6:20 PM
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1 to 2. We are not vanquished!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 6:22 PM
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Crap. I moved from Bloglines to Google Reader when the former closed. I'm not looking forward to doing it again. Admittedly, a lot of the blogs in my feed are currently dormant, but it's been pretty damn useful to see when someone I used to read posts again. That's how I noticed that Tedra was blogging again, for example.


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 6:28 PM
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I just installed feedly. It imports Reader feeds, but I'm not sure it will retain them after they shut it down. It looks great on iPad tho.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 6:35 PM
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I'd prefer something with a longer track record at this point.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 6:43 PM
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Boooook mmmmaaaarks?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 7:08 PM
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I'm mostly still in disappointed shock, but this looks a good place to start.


Posted by: mike d | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 7:11 PM
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Huh. I didn't even realize it was still around.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 7:16 PM
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The big surprise to me was finding out that there's still something called Bloglines. That's the feed reader used by Dr. Drew and Adam Carolla, right?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 7:18 PM
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Ouch! I use the Subscribe button and the Next button for reader in my bookmarks toolbar. Every time I see a site that interests me, I click Subscribe. I browse by clicking Next. I use Reader constantly. This...wow, I think I hate Google. They are now officially evil.


Posted by: Sarah Wynde | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 7:34 PM
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Can someone explain to me why they did this? It doesn't make much sense to me.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 7:43 PM
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I blame the Higgs boson.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 7:46 PM
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It's "spring cleaning" time, they said. Apparently fewer people are using it. Maybe they need more people to work on out-Facebooking Facebook.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 7:48 PM
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12: me neither. It can't possibly require much support.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 7:48 PM
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To send users to G+ ? Don't know how.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 7:51 PM
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It seems to me that the brand damage can't be worth whatever the small savings are from freeing up the servers.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 7:51 PM
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I can say that the Google rank-and-file engineers (myself included) are none to happy with this either, especially as we tend to be the sort of heavy users the site is good for. There's not much more to say, sadly.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 7:57 PM
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Unlike Nathan, I don't work at Google, so I can freely speculate! It's pretty obvious that Google crippled GReader's development in 2011 as an attempt to jumpstart Google Plus. Add that to the fact that it is probably significantly harder to monetize than something like GMail or Google Voice (with a smaller, more power-usery user base) and Google's current "fewer arrows, more wood"* policy, and you get a dead GReader.

* Laydeez.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 9:03 PM
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Google's current "fewer arrows, more wood"* policy

Their what now?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 9:07 PM
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21

Google mustn't have an analogy ban.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 9:09 PM
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22

I don't know, maybe they're talking about literal arrows and wood.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 9:10 PM
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23

The phrase you're looking for is "more wood behind fewer arrows", as seen, for example, here.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 9:10 PM
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The link in 23 does impressively little to explain what they mean by the phrase.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 9:13 PM
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Just waggle your eyebrows when you say it, Teo. "More wood."


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 9:14 PM
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It seems to me that in the past few years google has been abandoning tech savvy users in order to focus all efforts on the masses. This seems very short sighted to me, both because tech-savvy users drive long term trends, and because it will hurt recruitment of engineers who will increasingly be using other companies' products.

If someone started a search engine for smart tech savvy people, I'd jump from google search in a second which has been getting increasingly useless. (GMail I'm still pretty happy with though.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 9:14 PM
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It seems to me that in the past few years google has been abandoning tech savvy users in order to focus all efforts on the masses.

Well, I mean, that's where the money is. I can't really blame them.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 9:15 PM
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Not really very enlightening.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 9:16 PM
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Apparently a favorite of Sun CEO Scott McNealy back in the day. (I was amused that Chrome gave me a security warning that the *.sun.com link I clicked was actually trying to go to *.oracle.com. The "Get me out of here" option sounded appealing; but I proceeded and found five dollars got a 404 error.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 9:16 PM
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I'd be interested to know if the earlier hit to google reader drove the number of users down or if there was just a long decline. The way they phrase things in the announcement, they make the decline sound like a simple act of nature and not the result of either a failure to attract new users or a failure to even bother trying to attract new users (through improvements, new features, keeping popular features, etc.).

This sounds kind of like Facebook's explanation for making everyone findable through their search: the privacy settings - which they built, of course - that could hide you from search were hard to use and didn't always work, so rather than making them easier to use and making them work, they were forced to throw up their hands and give up.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 9:18 PM
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31

Real men bring only one arrow.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 9:18 PM
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32

More wood!


Posted by: Giles "Google" Corey | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 9:19 PM
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33

"more wood behind fewer arrows

I think they're going to need a bigger bow.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 9:22 PM
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31: Zen and the art of being a douchebag.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 9:23 PM
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Give atrios credit for this tweet: google just purchased microsoft bob for 20 billion dollars.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 10:29 PM
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19: I was also wondering about a monetization angle - whether some powerful deciders considered it too low-value to justify even a low cost. I would've assumed, very inexpertly, that the first solution to that problem would've been attempted monetization - the reputational hit from monetization, which is thoroughly precedented, couldn't have been much larger than tonight's hit, right? - but I imagine either an attempt not visible to me was made, or it was deemed too difficult*/resource-intensive.

*Perhaps because development had been forcibly stagnated? That would be bleakly funny.


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 10:42 PM
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A Microsoft bob sounds like a tool one uses for phishing.

(Also, I had a hard time not reading the logo posted at Wikipedia as "Microsoft Boob".)


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 10:57 PM
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Also, I had a hard time not reading the logo posted at Wikipedia as "Microsoft Boob"

Man, no kidding.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 11:07 PM
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I just don't understand how google doesn't realize that this undermines their whole program. Why am I going to buy a chromebook if it means that google can just eliminate all my applications at any time on a whim?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 03-13-13 11:25 PM
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40

39 has a point.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 1:05 AM
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41

Do any of the cloud based readers in that Lifehacker article natively sync with the popular Android readers or am I just going to have to hope they update them?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 1:41 AM
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|| So, if I were a cardinal, I might have said something like "Lads, remember all the stick we got last time for electing a Pope who'd been in the Hitler Youth? We should really make sure that doesn't happen this time. Like, if we elect Jorge here - hi Jorge! - we should, you know, check that he wasn't conspiring with the Argentinian junta back in the seventies to conceal the torture and murder of political prisoners from international human rights observers, by lending them his summer house to use as a temporary prison. Because that could look bad."

But apparently none of the actual cardinals said that.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2011/jan/04/argenitina-videla-bergoglio-repentance
|>


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 4:19 AM
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43

Sorry, I see now that chris y already posted 42 in the other thread.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 4:24 AM
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I was having some trouble syncing google calendar with the calendar on my phone. I searched their support and found out that they were dropping a certain kind of sync for new users--except for the paying customers, I.e. business, education and government.

I have to read it over to figure out how it affects me, if at all.

I am also frustrated by the tendency to force everyone on to social networking sites. There's a task management program/ service called Wunderlist which I really like. One of its features is that I can share a list with other people. The software is frequently encouraging me to share the service with other people. I'm glad to do it, because I really like the software. They have handy links to G+, Facebook and twitter, but no way to e-mail someone easily.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 4:43 AM
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I was having some trouble syncing google calendar with the calendar on my phone. I searched their support and found out that they were dropping a certain kind of sync for new users--except for the paying customers, I.e. business, education and government.

Yeah. They've dropped Exchange ActiveSync support for non-enterprise users. And a while back they dropped GooSync, which was a really easy way of syncing non-Exchange calendars with Google Calendar. It's all a bit bizarre - they seem determined to make solid Google services less useful while purusing flashy, not particularly useful stuff like Google Glass and Google Now.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 4:47 AM
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I wonder how long until they kill google scholar.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 4:53 AM
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God, I'd be pissed if they killed google scholar.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 6:39 AM
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I use google scholar a lot and would be similarly pissed if they killed it.

I'm getting to be less of a google fanboy now that I've switched all my browsing on my Mac at home to Chrome. It's unbelievably slow and clunky. I don't know if maybe I've broken it somehow, but it's like being zapped back to 1995 in terms of speed.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 7:39 AM
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@44

Strikeapp seems to do what wunderlist does. I just put the strikeapp lists in bookmarks, if anybody still uses those.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 9:12 AM
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Felix Salmon speculates about the cause and significance of the decision to kill Reader. Sounds like a mess.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 2:09 PM
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It was bad enough when they killed iGoogle earlier this year. Now that Google is dropping Reader, I'm going to have to seriously consider whether I want to keep using their mail and calendar sites.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 2:38 PM
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I suppose I should admit that I don't use Google Reader, nor any feed. I actually do have a mile-long bookmarks list.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 2:42 PM
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I'm surprised Google Scholar still exists. I think it got demoted from their navigation menus even earlier than Reader but it still keeps going along. I don't think they release data on how much they add to the database so it's hard to say whether that side has slown down. I assume they just have a mixture of feeds from publishers and then some kind of text analysis that finds cites and grey literature from their web crawls.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 2:52 PM
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The thing that's bothering me is Google Listen, a podcast program I use to hear podcasts on my phone that I subscribe to in Reader. Listen isn't supported anymore, either.

I can run the whole thing from Listen without using Reader -- that's not a problem. The trick is hiding them from Feedly so that I don't accidentally delete them when I'm reading over there.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 3:29 PM
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I use Google Scholar constantly, but no other Google services ever. Since there doesn't seem to be any way to find Google Scholar from the Google homepage anymore unless you already know it exists, I exist in a state of preemptive doom and misery.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 3:34 PM
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Slate suggests that google voice may be the next on the cutting block. Does anyone know if there's any good ways to keep tabs on which products google is likely to keep and which ones they're likely to axe? Were there any prominent sites that follow google closely and which predicted reader's demise in advance?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 3:34 PM
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Good god, not Google Voice. I've just gotten people to change over to that number. (I ditched my text plan a little too early and wound up with $10 in charges from people who won't let go of the old number.)


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 3:36 PM
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57: Google food, google meat, google God: Let's eat!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 3:54 PM
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If they kill Google Voice, I will be incredibly sad. Google Voice has saved me, I'm fairly sure, from straight-up murdering people for leaving infuriatingly long, screechy, hectoring voice mails.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 4:18 PM
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59: Me too.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 4:34 PM
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55: Since there doesn't seem to be any way to find Google Scholar from the Google homepage anymore unless you already know it exists

You have to go to the dropdown "More" menu on the homepage's top toolbar, then down to "Even More". There's actually a bunch of stuff on the Even More page that I've never heard of.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 5:33 PM
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I'm surprised Google Scholar still exists.

Oh my god, if Google Scholar goes I will die.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 6:12 PM
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I don't use any of that stuff. Google is like Jeeves, right? For asking questions. Who is going to get me a new bedpan?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 8:52 PM
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48: Make sure to occasionally close Gmail tab (or Reader or Twitter or any modern "does tons of Javascript-y stuff in the background" web app). Javascript memory leaks absolutely kill you. If I notice Chrome acting slow I open the Task Manager and nuke anything using more than 100K.

54: Listen is going to completely stop working when the Reader back-end gets turned down. Listen Up is an open source knock-off that may survive the transition:
http://codepimpsdotorg.blogspot.ca/2012/08/listen-up.html
Personally, I use BeyondPod. It is adequate.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 03-14-13 11:20 PM
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64 is the most helpful thing I've seen on the Internet all day, counting the bit about "sweeping the membranes" (from the Pat Morita School for Midwifery, natch). Thanks, yawnoc.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:17 AM
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I exist in a state of preemptive doom and misery.

Judaism.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 12:24 AM
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New Jersey.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 4:26 AM
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I recently moved my search needs to DuckDuckGo. I mostly use Google Search now to read Financial Times articles:-)

I would guess that the tell for a Google product that might die is that they stop iterating on it. GMail: still gets occasional feature drops. GSearch, GAds: core. Android: frantically hacking away. Maps: needs constant maintenance to work, vital to search.

GVoice: basically the same product it was in 2007 when it was called Grandcentral. oo-er. Picasa/Picasaweb: doooomed. GEarth: awesome but basically the same product it was in 2004. oo-er. Blogger: oo-er...


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 5:47 AM
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GEarth: awesome but basically the same product it was in 2004.

Arguably Google Sky was a big change, but sure, they're not exactly iterating on it.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 6:23 AM
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I've been messing with Feedly a bit--it's a little too pretty, and for some reason, in constantly changes the order that it shows my feeds, which is annoying. I can't imagine just using the bookmarks tab. Seems like I'd miss a whole lot of stuff that way.


Posted by: Mentioner | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 7:46 AM
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70 Feature not bug.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 7:54 AM
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So, now I'm checking out NetVibes. It looks a lot more like Google Reader, and so far, seems to function a lot like it as well. There is some annoying clean up you have to do at first (getting rid of all of the pre-packaged junk, et cet), but only took about five minutes.
I am perfectly fine admitting this is more important to me than it ought to be.


Posted by: Mentioner | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:40 AM
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1 to 72, if you haven't yet seen it.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:44 AM
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Who is that anonymous, helpful commenter!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:47 AM
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1. looks useful, but the software is by a company with few clients from a place not known for business longevity.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:53 AM
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I don't think that company actually created it. But yes, it remains to be seen if it can remain stable and supported and whether it will scale.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 8:56 AM
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73
I actually checked that out first, I think. But something (can't remember now) put me off of it. Twenty minutes into NetVibes, and I'm actually warming up to it.


Posted by: Mentioner | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:03 AM
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I've still yet to find anything that does what I need, namely organising and syncing feed subscriptions across devices. With the various murmurings about the likes of Reeder and Feedly coming up with post-Google solutions, it may end up being mostly solved, but I'd still like to be able to easily access feeds across multiple devices and readers. Some readers are better than others at different things (eg images, over the fold text, interface) or on different devices. At the moment it looks like I'm going to have to manage each of those readers' subscriptions separately.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-15-13 9:53 AM
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