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New isn’t always improved

The new Google Reader sucks ass. I know, First World Problems. But Google Reader is a staple to a blogger. I keep up to date with current events and commentary (and lolcats) by subscribing to 154 different blogs, and that list is growing every day. I also read those blogs on a netbook. Now that Google Reader devoted a huge part of the page to search bars, buttons, and useless white space, I can barely see the posts I’m trying to read.

But worse, they’ve destroyed the Sharing option. That’s where I’d always get my best reading material from. I had a little network of friends who would work to filter out the gems from blogs I don’t follow. Instead, the replacement forces you to +1 something, and then select which circles you want to share it with.

This would be theoretically fine if 1. the user interface actually worked well and 2. shared posts appeared in Google Reader. But neither of these things are true. When you +1 something, you have to hover your cursor around and/or reclick with the hopes that you’ll get the option to share. And if you’re on a laptop with a tiny screen, this pop up will take up the whole page, have half of its options hidden, and awkwardly scroll away as you try to read it. And your shared items will just show up as a link in your Google+ stream. You actually have to click to see the article in question, instead of conveniently reading and commenting on it while you’re reading all of your other blogs. The whole point of sharing in Google Reader is so you don’t have to click anything else. So it’s really no different than a “Share on facebook” button, which is what I would prefer to click because no one I know uses Google+ anyway.

Google can save this by:

1. Reducing all the useless white space, or at least making it permanently minimizable for those of us with tiny screens.

2. Having a link on left sidebar that lets you see all posts from a circle of people you want to follow, or from people who have shared with circles that contain you.

Also, it’s ugly.

Boo, hiss, change is scary, etc.