Thursday, June 13, 2013

Catastrophe averted?

Little did I know it, but apparently I'm a power user of Google Reader - the soon-to-be-defunct tool I use every day.

In addition to using Reader to follow blogs belonging to people I know and/or have found online, I subscribe to blogs about cooking, personal finance, knitting, biking, and local stuff. This is no different from many Reader-users. However, my power-user-ness comes from my extreme use of tagging.

I have a list of over 100 tags that I've assigned to items in my feed that I want to be able to find later. Want a peek into my brain? Here you go:
account balancing, alcohol, appetizers, baking, book rec, bread, breakfast, brunch, bundt cake,
cake, candy, cleaning, compilation, cookies, crock pot, cupcakes, day trip, decorating, dessert,
dinner, DIY, drinks, easy, fall, food processor, fruit, garden, Gardening, gift, gluten-free, happy  hour, healthy food, holiday, household, interesting ingredients, investing, loaf cake,
local info, lunch group, meat, menu, muffins, need gear, party, pasta, pdx, pie, potluck, preserving, restaurants, salads, side dish, snack, soup, spa B, spring, summer, technique,
travel, travel tips, tried and liked, useful, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian, weekend project,
winter, wine group, wow, yum

Whenever I read an article I want to find later, I tag it - almost always with multiple tags. So, for example, the Food Librarian's post about nectarine buttermilk upside down cake is tagged baking, cake, summer, tried and liked. Shove it in the oven chicken stew is tagged fall, meat, soup, tried and liked, winter. And, final example, a post titled What is a Weekend? is tagged meat so I can find the recipe it contains for world's best chicken.

You see how this is powerful? When I'm looking for ideas, I don't have to surf the web aimlessly - I can go to my reader account, click on my dinner or meat or seasonally-appropriate tag, and browse for ideas in posts I already know appeal to me.

And of course, Reader is going away and I'm devastated. So far the best option I've found is to subscribe to Feedly. I recreated my tags and it LOOKS like my content has made it over. When I look at a previously-tagged article I don't see all the tags I know I assigned to it, but when I check its various tags from Reader, it does appear in each place.

Tragically, Feedly only allows me to supply one tag per item in its interface. I'm going to suggest they support multiple tags, and they seem to have been very responsive to this Reader debacle, but I'm more than a little concerned that my six years of metadata is going to be lost at the end of this month.


  1. I've been experimenting with a few different RSS readers but none are floating my boat. TheHusband reminds me that I wasn't thrilled with google reader when I switched from bloglines all those years ago. I'm still in a bit of denial regarding how much data I need to pull from my primary reader account.

    I guess the upside is that I've certainly culled the number of blogs I try to keep up with this last month.

  2. Yes! Unsubscribing from feeds is a very definite option. I used to do a lot more cooking/baking/preserving than I have been lately, so I could really stand to thin out my food subscriptions. Also, of course, there are lots of nearly defunct blogs but I keep them saved in hopes people get back into blogging.

    At least Feedly now supports multiple tags per item, and they SEEM to have pulled over all my tagged entries. I've stopped using Reader but the learning curve is not awesome.