Of late, I haven’t been able to keep up with many of the blogs I follow, because they’ve become well-nigh impossible to find in the WordPress Reader.
This isn’t because I’m following too many blogs: I’m now following fewer than I was when I started blogging, almost six years ago. And I’ve always maintained the same number of Tags: two dozen or less.
Years ago, I could log in and be directed immediately to my Dashboard. After glancing at the stats summary and working on posts, I could voluntarily go to the Reader to visit the sites I followed. In that idyllic time, the Reader had a cleaner, uncluttered format that made it easy to find one’s favorites. But like a lot of things that weren’t broken at WordPress, somebody decided to “fix” that.
Now, as soon as I log in, the Reader is the first thing that’s shoved in my face, and it’s so full, it takes forever to load, so the page takes eons to respond to a request to go to my Dashboard. Apparently the WordPress Unhappiness Engineers decided that, because I indicated an interest in topics by listing them as tags, I would find it convenient to be automatically bombarded with everything anybody writes that is tagged with those topics. The only way I’ve been able to manage the chaos has been to eliminate my Tag list, which means that now if I want to look for new content in a specific area of interest, I have to brainstorm keywords for the Reader search engine, instead of clicking a handy Tag link. Unfortunately, now the Reader is shoving in “recommended” blogs on topics that are irrelevant to me.
Consistent with the various nefarious changes made to the blog editor, the WordPress definition of convenience in the Reader has wrought inconvenience, instead. Seeing the magnitude of the mess that the WordPress Unhappiness Engineers have made of their blog hosting over the years has been like witnessing a train wreck in slow motion: the Reader is another car gone airborne off the track.
What I’m going to try now to keep up with my blog reading is to do it through an RSS feed reader. The advantage to this is that I can sort my blog follows into easily organized lists, and click on individual titles or specific subject feeds. I can also add RSS feeds from other sources I like to go to for research for my writing. One-stop media shopping, at my discretion.
What has been your experience with RSS feed readers?