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Is Google Strangling Google Reader with Too Much Stuff?



google-reader_logoGoogle Reader is still one of my main tools for keeping track of what’s going on in the world of mobile tech and just news in general. I probably have more than the average number of RSS feeds I check daily and the one of the beauties of Google Reader is that no matter what device I happen to be using it keeps what I’ve read, starred, shared, commented on, etc… across all the devices.

Google has been on a kick to add features to Google Reader lately and I’m beginning to believe that this feature creep is slowly strangling a good thing. It could be something else, but then who really knows. At first I thought it was the large number of feeds I pull in, but I’m seeing the same behavior with a different, smaller set of feeds as well. I see it across machines (an iMac, a Tablet PC running Windows 7, a Netbook running XP, and a Netbook running Windows 7) and with different browsers (IE, Firefox, Safari, Chrome).

Sometimes things will work just fine an as I expect them to, and sometimes it seems like GR will just hang while it is pulling in info. Again, I’m not sure why this is, but it is becoming a real PITA to use Google Reader on a daily basis of late.

Anyone else seeing this?



  1. LeeN

    08/19/2009 at 1:25 pm

    I probably don’t subscribe to as many feeds as you do, but I have noticed with in the last month or so that scrolling in firefox would hickup now an then while I am scrolling pages. It would happen that I’d be scrolling and then it would freeze and then pop into where it should be. I narrowed the problem down to google reader and then noticed that this didn’t seem to happen in chrome (maybe if I had more subscriptions I would start noticing it in chrome). The thing that sucks is that I love Firefox, I use a lot of add-ons and I rearrange the interface and I can’t do any of those things with Chrome, and so rather then moving to Chrome I am putting up with google readers non-sense in firefox.

    That said, I kind of like the new google reader features, being able to mark articles you like, seeing how many others like them, and being able to share them with your friends are cool features. I kind of hope they change sharing though, as I know some people like the things I share and others would probably not care, it would be nice if I could have separate feeds, and my friends could subscribe to any of the feeds they want, and I can share articles to those different feeds. I would also like to be able to have tree structures for my subscriptions, so I can group different feeds and see a mashup of those feeds.

  2. Gerald Hildebrandt

    08/19/2009 at 2:49 pm

    I discovered two problems during the recent days in my GR:

    1) same as described by you, sometimes GR hangs, especially after adding a new subscription

    2) adding people, that I am following, to groups get not reliable persisted, I have to do this again and again

  3. Andy K

    08/19/2009 at 4:06 pm

    I’ve been having problems in Firefox but discovered they were related to skype add-on in for firefox…

  4. Tariq

    08/19/2009 at 4:30 pm

    You have to try out the latest pre-release of FeedDemon (, it syncs exclusively with GR. There’s no lag and I find it easier to use than GR itself. What’s great is, if I’m on a device I don’t have FeedDemon installed, I can still keep up with my feeds, and not lose a step by using GR directly, everything stays in sync.

    Just FYI, FD makes GR better :)

  5. Tariq

    08/19/2009 at 4:33 pm

    Just another thought, I wonder if the added load from all the FD users is stressing GR? Maybe that’s why you’re seeing increased lag?

  6. Ben

    08/19/2009 at 7:02 pm

    i hardly have any feeds, but i haven’t noticed any particular slow down. i wish they’d make the off-line mode work right, though…

  7. tivoboy

    08/20/2009 at 10:13 am

    yep, +1 on this. I think all the additions are slowing it down, and sometimes when I am on a 3G connection, I get a lot of timeouts now. I really wish they would get rid of all the social networking API integration, I don’t use it and I am CERTAIN this is slowing things down.

  8. BBusyB

    08/21/2009 at 7:25 pm

    I’ve Noticed GR slowing down over the last month or so, on both Firefox and Chrome. You know its bad, when it has problems on their own Browser.

    I’m still using it on Chrome, as it allows me to keep it separate from what I’m working on in firefox, without everything down.

    I’m definately going to check out Feed Demon, and see how it works with GR.

  9. Remo Knops

    08/24/2009 at 8:22 am


    What is your preferred rss-feed-reader for a Windows powered notebook ??

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