Need A Google Reader Alternative? Meet Newsblur

newsblur With the shutdown of Google Reader having just been announced, the Web is full of discussion about where those of us who utilize RSS should turn next. I'm happy to report there's a solution I already use and love: Newsblur. I have been a user of the completely Web-based Newsblur since 2011 and have been nothing but impressed. It's easy to use, dependable, fast, and gets the job done. Plus, it has a ton of features for those who want them. I use several. Newsblur is the work of a sole developer based in Brooklyn named Sam Clay and has been online since 2010 with a growing but still s [...]

Google Warns Of Malware Redirecting To Its Search Results

MalwareWarningScreenshot Do a search on Google, and you might get an unexpected surprise. A big notice at the top of your results warning that your computer has been infected with malware. Here's an example of how it looks: What malware? Produced by whom? Google's not giving any details there yet, simply blogging: This particular malware causes infected computers to send traffic to Google through a small number of intermediary servers called "proxies." We hope that by taking steps to notify users whose traffic is coming through these proxies, we can help them update their antivirus software and remove the i [...]

Small Google Navigation Element Changes

There were two Google navigation changes that people have started to notice. The first was making the Google search left hand bar more compact and the second was changing the menu choices in the top menu while in Gmail. Google Operating System reported the more compact version of the Google web search side bar. Google has merged several groups into a single group, to save space. The two groups remaining are time bound groups and search filter groups, what was removed were the views group and results group. Google also dropped the "related searches" option from the side bar. For scre [...]

No Feed, No Problem – Google Reader Now Tracks (Mostly) Any Website Change

The Google Reader blog announced you can now track changes to any web page, even the ones without RSS feeds. How does this come in handy? Well, let's say you want to track when Google changes their webmaster guidelines. All you do is copy the URL into Google Reader and click on "create a feed." Google Reader will then periodically visit the page and publish any significant changes it finds as items in a custom feed created just for that page. Here is a picture: After you click "create a feed" Google will label the item as "a Google-created feed." This can come in handy for [...]

Google Adds Style Options To Image Search, Search History Found In Search Suggestions, & Google Reader Blog Adds “What’s Hot”

It has been an active weekend for Google. Google has added additional search options to Google Image Search. Google has also introduced a "What's Hot" area to Google Reader Blog. Finally, Google is testing showing search history within Google search suggestions. Google has added additional search options by style. So in addition to searching for faces or photo content types of images, or news content, you can also search for line drawings, and clip art. Here is a picture of the available style options in Google Image Search: Google Operating System reports that some users are se [...]

Google Reader Gets Cleaner, So Does iPhone Version

Yesterday, Google Reader team announced that they have released a cleaner and fresher look to Google Reader. The change incorporates a less blueish color scheme and a more whitish scheme. Google has consolidated some of the features, added collapsible navigational links on the left and rounded some of the corners. But to my surprise, the whitish color scheme is not just available on the main Google Reader, it has been ported to the iPhone version. Here is a picture of the new Google Reader look for your browser: Here is a picture of the new Google Reader for your iPhone: [...]

Google Reader Now Translating Your Subscriptions

The Google Reader Blog announced that they now are offering translation of your subscriptions. Google Reader now gives you the ability to subscribe to blogs and sites that do not publish content in your native language. You can select the "Translate into my language" option in the feed settings and Google Reader will automatically translate the content into your language. It will also remember this setting and continue to show you the translated version of that subscription, going forward. The Google Reader team worked closely with the Google Translate team to make this possible. FY [...]

Gmail Adds Gadgets & Google Reader Adds Subscription Stats

The Gmail Blog announced a new labs option that gives Gmail users the ability to add Google Calendar, Google Docs and other gadgets directly on their Gmail interface. Plus, Steve Rubel reports Google Reader has added subscription statistics, which I find to be awesome. Let me explore both features below. Gmail Gadgets: You can now add the Calendar and Docs gadgets to the left hand side of your Gmail screen, next to the Chat and Labels area. Plus, you can add any Google Gadget to that area, although it isn't all that easy to add random gadgets. To get started, go to Gmail > Settings [...]

Google Reader Expands Friends Sharing, Tagging, Ordering Feeds & More

The Google Reader Blog announced several new features added to Google Reader. Google has expanded the expanded the friends sharing feature to support all "supported" Google Reader languages. You can now tag feed items when you add a note. You can sort your subscriptions alphabetically or using "My Order" through drag and drop sorting. Plus you can see the last crawl date on the feed details view The Google Reader blog has screen captures of all the features mentioned above, minus where to find the last crawl date. To see the last crawl date, click on a specific subscription and at the top [...]

Google Reader Improves Friends Sharing Feature

The Google Reader Blog announced they have added a few features to improve the flexibility of sharing your feeds with your friends. With the new feature, you can now manage your "Friends list" in Google Reader, separate from your Gmail chat contacts. Why is that important? Well, when Google Reader first released friend share items, all your Gmail contacts saw all your shared feeds. So there were privacy concerns over such a feature, where Danny even called for Google to drop the feature completely until they came out with a more flexible solution. Well, Google did not drop the feature, b [...]

Keeping It Private On Google Reader

Almost two weeks ago, I wrote my Google Reader Gets Social With Friends Shared Items post detailing how disturbing it was that Google Reader was now sharing items with people it considered my friends, on an opt-out basis. Privacy concerns over this finally exploded this week, with Google Reader itself now reacting mainly to highlight how friend sharing can be enabled or disabled. Lost in the outcry seems to be the point that it's always been the case that sharing any item would share it with the ENTIRE WORLD, and that hasn't changed. But the change was significant in making more public a li [...]

Google Reader Share With Friends Feature Causes Privacy Concerns

Google Reader shares private data, ruins Christmas from Felipe Hoffa has a detailed rundown of the user complaints with Google Reader's new share with friends feature. Felipe writes, "One week ago Google Reader's team decided to begin showing your private data to all your GMail contacts. No need to opt-in, no way to opt-out. Complaints haven't been answered." Yes, it was a bit shocking to see that my feeds were shared with my Gmail contacts by default. I did not opt in to allow my friends to see my feeds, Google did that for me. But is there a way to opt out? Postscript: There appears to [...]

Jason Shellen, Former Google Reader Product Manager, Joins LiveJournal

Former Blogger Googler Shellen joins LiveJournal from reports Jason Shellen, the former Google Reader product manager, is joining LiveJournal as the vice president of product development. Shellen announced his departure from Google in July of this year. He said he left because he has the "entrepreneurial/start-up bug," where he needs to be with a smaller start up company. Shellen will be working in LiveJournal's new San Francisco location in early 2008. [...]

Google Reader Gets Social With Friends Shared Items

Google's made a significant move toward trying to have a Facebook-like news feed and beef up its social networking aspirations by integrating Google Talk / Gmail contacts with Google Reader. I'd seen the discussion earlier, but after now experiencing it first-hand, it's kind of scary that it isn't more opt-in rather than opt-out. When I logged in today, I got this message popping-up within Google Reader: I was a bit taken aback. Let's look again at what it tells me: Your Reader shared items are being made available to your friends from Google Talk. You can see what these friends are shar [...]

Google Reader Adds Recommendations And Drag & Drop

The Google Reader Blog announced that they have added two new features unique to Google Reader but not unique to many other RSS readers. The new features are "recommendations" and drag and drop capabilities. Google recommendations can be found on the top right side of the Google Reader home page or via the directory page. It basically offers you suggested blogs based on what you have already subscribed to. Like I said above, many other RSS readers offer this capability. Here are screen captures of my Google Reader Recommendations: One problem: I have subscribed to several of my reco [...]

How Feedburner Adds Up Subscriber Numbers

Last Saturday, there was a gasp of collective horror in the blogosphere as FeedBurner subscriber stats plunged for many sites. Today, it's happened again. Don't panic! Your subscribers are probably all still there, with Google Reader to blame for the missing numbers. Below, our comprehensive guide to how FeedBurner compiles subscriber stats explains all, today's glitch, and why those occasional plunges happen. Last weekend's drop of Feedburner subscriber numbers by as much as half was a temporary glitch. Google Reader didn't report figures, and all was back to normal the next day. Today's dro [...]

Google Reader Improves iPhone Interface & Adds Blogroll Feature

The Google Reader Blog announced they have added the ability to dynamically include a blogroll of your feeds on your site and that they have improved the Google Reader Mobile interface for iPhone users. The blogroll feature can be accessed by going to your Google Reader Settings page and clicking on the "tags" link. Once you are there, any public tags can be added to your blogroll by clicking on the "add a blogroll to your site" link. Then copy and paste the snippet of code into your blog. You can see an example of this in action at Steve Lacey's blog. Google Reader added new features fo [...]

Google Reader Says It Does “Dailyish” Update Of Subscriber Counts

When Google Reader launched new subscriber figures earlier this week, I touched base with Google to find out if they'd be doing a real top blogs list rather than the ad-hoc ones now out there, plus how often the stats were updated and a few more things. Answers have come back from Google Reader product manager Nick Baum. Will a top list come? He can't say. But he did say figures are updated roughly every day and anyone with a subscription is counted, regardless of whether they read the feed. Longer answers are below. Question: Why did you start reporting counts? Nick: We had the data [...]

Google Reader Now Reporting Subscriber Figures

Earlier this year, iGoogle started reporting the number of readers putting a blog on their personalized home pages at Google. Now Google Reader is doing the same, showing how many readers a blog has within Google's dedicated feed reading service. More on this below, especially how in contrast, FeedBurner/Google Feedfetcher report a combined figure for iGoogle plus Google Reader, as well as some top blog lists that are being assembled. Google Now Reporting Number Of Users Per Gadget from June explained how by finding a blog's "gadget" listing in iGoogle, you'd know how many readers [...]

New Feed Subscriber Stats & User Interface For Google Webmaster Central

Google Webmaster Central has gone live with a new "subscriber stats" area showing statistics of how many people read your feeds through the iGoogle personalized home page and Google Reader, as well as a new look and user interface for GWC. Below, more about both, as well as issues for those tracking feeds through services such as FeedBurner. I like the new look, and Google says it is designed to better group similar tools and reports together. Here's the overview page: Off to the left, you can see a box with the five main groupings of tools and reports: Diagnostics Statistics Li [...]

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