Google Reader is such a great, simple way as a desktop user to keep up with dozens or hundreds of RSS feeds – but even moreso, to be able to selectively share and comment on the blog articles in those feeds with your friends and with various “external” social services (Facebook, Twitter, Delicious, Stumbleupon, and lots of even-more-ancient-sounding services).
What *isn’t* Google Reader great at?
- sharing your favourite articles (with commentary) via a purely mobile experience
- sharing those same faves with your burgeoning Google+ circles
Mobile: the Google Reader team have added a tiny number of widgets for sharing to the mobile web experience. Other third-party iPhone apps have done a better job of integrating to the foreign services’ APIs, but it’s not like they voraciously keep up or try to stay ahead of the next wave. [Reeder’s been good to me but hardly stellar – the FB integration works, but I guess I’d rather it just added this as a background operation for all sharing rather than me having to take the time and extra steps to bother sharing outside of the native Google Reader/Buzz feed.]
G+: And what the heck is with Google leaving no clues as to the status of Google Buzz, and whether/when they’ll move operations (like automatic posting of your Google Reader “sharing” activity to the Buzz feed) over to a native G+ implementation? After a year on Buzz, I accumulated no further “organic” growth of friends & followers than the folks that I originally scraped together on day one. I’m seeing a little better “natural uptick” of followers on G+, but still nothing like I see on Twitter – though to be fair, I think if I got new bot followers every time I posted to the Public feed on G+, I’d probably lose my mind.
So what’s up with Google Reader? Has it effectively been zombied, or starved of any reasonable squad of hungry developers and Product Owners? Or is this still a feature with a future? Hell, if I have to find yet *another* place to host my RSS feeds I’m probably gonna lose my mind. And that’s likely the reason why Google has starved the Reader team of any serious developer resources: there’s no competition left. Google is the last place to offer free, voluminous RSS scraping and it shows in their complacency. Up to the rest of us to kludge together some pretty Rube Goldbergian workflows to make it worth reading/sharing on Reader in the first place.
So what does *your* Goldberg machine look like?
So far, the furthest I’ve gotten is to ensure that Sharing & Notes are still working from the mobile Reader and the Reeder iPhone app. Nothing in the Reader “Send To” list even seems to hint at a G+ interaction – and I haven’t gotten creative enough yet to figure out how to make a ‘custom link’ post to one place, that will eventually (and richly – i.e. without cryptically condensing and stripping good content off the original shares) end up on FB, G+ & Twitter without me having to take a half-dozen manual steps at each post. Last I looked, Friendfeed does a cryptic job; does Seesmic have anything to offer here? Any new services from Silicon Valley that I should be looking into?
52: Vol. 4 by Geoff Johns
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Summary: too bad about the never-say-die multiverse addiction at DC.
Dibny’s story? Awesome. Week 43 Day 1? Like a five-year-old wrote it.
Black Adam’s finale was not written by that five-year-old, and works much better.
And the build-up to the final climax? Cool. I felt like I participated in something actually pretty wondrous.
Too bad about bringing back the multiverse tho. Seems like DC is just addicted to its easy outs – the many, many variations on the same themes that make it so easy to explain away any discontinuities. Is DC just fundamentally lazy? Some describe it as "enabling creativity", but sometimes endless possibilities leave you without having to think hard, make choices or come up with elegant solutions.
DC is the brute force method of writing superhero stories. Just keep bashing on the same characters until one of the iterations finally comes out with something good.
I still liked the ending to 52, but it sure reminds me of how tiring these "restarts" get every time DC lets its writers paint them into a corner.
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Hey all my geeky friends: I’m trying to figure out the most automated way (least number of extra steps) to enable all the reviews I write on GoodReads to show up on my Google+ and/or Facebook streams. I realize that with the amount of effort I’ve put into these reviews over the last year or two, I might as well be getting more value out of the postings than from the dozen or so ‘friends’ I’ve accumulated on GoodReads itself.
Has anyone come up with a good scheme for pulling or pushing GoodReads reviews to their social walls? I’m currently experimenting with ways to pull or push reviews using this blog as a staging ground – see if I can find a way to pull or push from Blogger to G+ or Facebook.
Right now, I do all my reviewing from the GoodReads iPhone app, and based on my previous experiments, it looks like all of the automation is still just “semi-automated”, and only really available from a desktop browser. That is, GoodReads will certainly cache the locations and credentials necessary to cross-post from GR to the ‘foreign’ services; however, it still requires me to (a) fire up my laptop, (b) browse to GR, (c) find the review I just published via GR on iPhone, (d) click the checkbox for the ‘foreign service’ to which I want to post, and (e) push the review to that service.
My ideal behaviour: I’d LOVE GoodReads if they could enable the following scenario:
- I write a review on GoodReads via the iPhone app
- I switch the “shelf” from “currently-reading” to “read”
- GoodReads publishes the review automatically (with no further actions on my part) to all previously-configured social platforms: Blogger, Facebook, Twitter (and in the near future, Google+)
Who do I have to get drunk to make this happen?
Final Crisis by Grant Morrison
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Found the first few pages waaaaay too abstract to bother reading the rest. However it keeps coming back at me, and after realizing it was the linchpin between Batman RIP and Batman Reborn, I finally gave in.
This book feels like it’s all over the place – intentionally. That’s good for the DC geeks who know every minor character or sub-plot that gets a cameo here, but holy hell is it uninteresting to a DC amateur like me.
And frankly the hardest part of reading this book was trying to find and follow the narrative. I mean, there’s good mind-bending storytelling that Morrison is famous for, and then there’s just putting the plot points, characters and dialogue in a blender and simply churning until it’s an unrecognizable mass.
I’m sure if I read it again I’d get much more out of it, and maybe I will someday after I’ve spent a couple of years catching up on the DC universe (after five years I’ve focused so much on Marvel).
Until then I’m going to lament Morrison’s dubious decision to narrate most dialogue in that most insipid and stilted style that was popular back when comic books were still printed using droplet ink.
I totally felt duped into reading this when I saw how little airtime Batman and his “death” actually got. I didn’t know anything more about the continuity jump between Batman RIP and Batman Reborn than before I’d read this unholy mess.
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