Google Reader is Dead, Long Live RSS

Wow, what a busy news day. First we get a new Pope. In walked Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina and out walked Pope Francis. Then there was the amazing news about a Veronica Mars movie being funded on Kickstarter. And now it’s the sunsetting of Google Reader.

Google Ending Reader Service The way people are talking about this on Twitter and Facebook, you’d think Google just killed RSS entirely. RSS, for those who don’t know, is “Really Simple Syndication” which basically allows people and services to easily subscribe to blogs like mine. It does a whole heck of a lot more but that’s the basics and what Google Reader took advantage of.

There is much speculation that Google shuttering Reader means the end of RSS and all the apps that use RSS and/or Google Reader integration. I read hundreds of articles a week through my Google Reader account, as viewed on my iPhone/iPad/Mac in the awesome Reeder app.

Google-Reader-StatisticsI log into Reeder with my Google information and it presents to me all of the RSS feeds I have subscribed to. Instead of having to load up dozens of sites a number of times in a day, I just tell Reeder to refresh the feeds. RSS also powers the distribution of podcasts and is incorporated in lots of social media and device/system status services.

RSS is brilliant and it isn’t dead

RSS can’t just die. It’s decentralized like Ham radios. It might be replaced with something else (ATOM is superior but hasn’t taken off like RSS) but the function it provides will live on. A lot of tech pundits are making the point that social media is at blame for this. More and more people are getting their news through Twitter and Facebook shares many of which get aggregated by apps like Pulse and Flipboard. There is definitely truth to that. The overwhelming majority of traffic to my site is through Google searches followed by Twitter. But these forms of news-gathering only work “in the now” not after the fact. Once it isn’t trending, it isn’t seen. That’s where RSS comes in.

As you see in the image above, there are days that I am just too busy to read my RSS feeds. Then there are days where I read a ton of articles. These are the days I’m catching up on articles posted earlier in the week and where relying on Twitter for my news would fail.

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Disqus the Disappointment

UPDATE: And just like that, Gianni at Disqus has my comments imported and everything works.  Fantastic.  A testament to Disqus and their support staff.  Resolved the problem less than an hour after I blogged about it! – Turns out not so lucky, click here to learn why.

Yesterday I shared my ultimately negative experience with the blog comment system, IntenseDebate.  The system was at first promising, before it fell flat on it’s face with a beautiful front end but clunky backend, inability to properly manage logins and artificially limiting features.  You can read more about why, just click back to that post.

So I switched back to Disqus, the commenting system I tried out a couple of years ago before ultimately abandoning it.  The early versions of Disqus wouldn’t synchronize comments with the WordPress database.  If Disqus ever went away, so did your comments.

I installed the latest Disqus as a plugin for the latest version of WordPress.  I rand the installation, followed the directions to import my comments and this is what happened and continues to happen.

No comments are imported! I went to Twitter and talked to @Disqus a few weeks ago.  I even emailed them about the problem and they said they’d take care of it.

And yet, still, there are no comments from my previous posts.  They all still exist in my blog, you can see there are over 1,600 of them.

If I go to Disqus to see my comments, only five show up!

There is certainly no way I can really review Disqus until I get it to actually work.  I really want to like the system and the people behind it.  They have been so quick to send help my way, even on this blog, but sadly the help never fixes the problem.

For right now though, Disqus is just a disappointment.  Even more so than IntenseDebate.  At least that would import my comments…

So why not discuss this Disqus problem but logging your comments on the form below.  See, any new post and any new comments show up just fine. It’s those pesky historical comments and conversations that never showed up to the party.

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Piczar Photo

I’d really like for you guys to bookmark my new photo blog site, Piczar Photo.

I spent a lot of time trying to think of a cool name for a photography site but it seems like all the good names were taken.

The other day at Starbucks, my mother and I were brainstorming, trying to create a name for the blog.  We tried tons of names when she joked, “How about Pixar, that’d be a cool name for a company!”, obviously joking.  I then suggested that things that I dream never seem to work out in real life, maybe I should call it Dreamworks.

And then I thought… Picture Czar, Piczar (.com was taken btw).  So Piczar Photo.

You can subscribe to the rss feed but that will only show newly taken photographs.  As I upload old ones, most RSS feed aggregators won’t pick them up.  Pictures taken from now on however will be picked up by your aggregator instantly.  You might want to check out the Mosaic which has all the pictures at once to see if I’ve uploaded and old picture.

Tell me what you think.  I’m using the Yet Another Photo Blog plugin for WordPress to create this blog.  So far I’m quite impressed with all of the features.

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