I love Google Reader. Especially now, after they added the long lost search feature and taught it to count to a thousand. It is awesomer (yes, awesomer is a word, and if you don’t like that GTFO) than ever, but I still have a serious complaint about it’s functionality. This has been bothering me since I started using it, and I was always hoping they will eventually fix it. I think it’s time to speak up. The Google Reader subscription mechanism is retarded.
Let me say it this way – when I was using Bloglines the subscription bookmarklet would take me to a page which would let me preview the feed, and apply appropriate labels to it before I actually subscribed. It was easy, it was clean and it was informative.
The Google Reader bookmarklet leads you to this uninformative page:
This is especially annoying if you have Firefox set to automatically subscribe with the Reader, and you click on a RSS link while, for example, browsing some google search results. You click on a link and you get taken to this page.
Can you preview the feed? Not unless you subscribe. All the information you get from Google is the title of the feed, and some huge ass buttons that let me choose if you want to add it to your Google Reader or Google Homepage. The buttons and screenshots are the main focus, while the actual feed info is sitting in the corner, out of the way in a small font. Who designed this page? Google is usually known for good UI design, but this is ridiculous. I’ve been silently dealing with this crap for the longest time hoping they will fix it one day. But no, they insist on pushing their “home page” service on me.
Here is the thing – I do not use a home page. Who the hell uses a “home page” in the year two thousand and fucking seven? A home page is something that my grandmother uses. Unless you are still using that remote trojan exploit vector called Internet Exploder you have no business using a “home page”. Sessions are where it’s at right now. You open the browser and pick up right where you left off. Who wants to see the generic “Googel” page instead of useful set of tabs relevant to your last session? Other than my grandmother that is.
But I digress. I do not use Google Homepage and I’m sure I’m not alone here. So why does Google insist on offering me that option every time I try to subscribe? I just want to put this RSS feed in my Google Reader. Would it really be that hard to offer separate bookmarklet for the homepage and for the reader?
This way, they could offer a more useful subscription screen when if you randomly arrive at a RSS feed. Perhaps something more like the default Firefox subscription page:
This page is much better – it has a preview of the feed content and all the relevant information. All it lacks is a little drop down menu that would let you to tag your feed right there and then.
So how about it Google? Can you do this? Can you make a good subscription page for us, Google Reader users? Or should we just go back to Bloglines. I hear they implemented a nice brand new Ajax interface that is as good, if not better than yours. Make it happen!
[tags]google, google reader, google reader annoyances, subscribing, rss, subscription[/tags]