Is it Wrong to Love a Web App?

I love Google Reader.

I hate Google Reader.

*sigh*

Confession: I am not as organized as I should be.  I really want to be the uber-organized, everything-in-its-place, make-use-of-every-spare-moment teacher that knows exactly where the study guide for the Causes of World War I activity is hiding.  But.  I am not.

So, Google Reader is a god-send for a news hound like me.  I have tried other RSS aggregators, but I keep coming back to Reader, like it’s a comfy pair of old sweats.  My problem is that I overestimate the amount of time I will have to read all the blog posts that attract my attention.  I find new blogs and blithely click “Subscribe,” pleased to have acquired a new portal for information.  And I religiously open Reader every morning, at home or at school, and it stays up all day.

But who has time to read all this stuff???  Yet clicking “Unsubscribe” feels like breaking up.  And what if tomorrow that blog – the one I haven’t read for weeks and has 210 new feeds – what if tomorrow that blog has a post that will change my teaching/life/opinion?  And how can I possibly cull the “good ones?”  No way am I doing without regular monitoring of Richard Byrne’s “Free Technology for Teachers” (currently 10 unread) or “Teaching High School Psychology” (20 unreads), or even “Chart Porn” (11) or Angela Cunningham’s “changED” (0! w00t!).

And that’s job-related stuff.  What about the Pioneer Woman’s “Tasty Kitchen” (18 unread) blog from whence came the homemade salsa recipe that makes me look like a genius at every family gathering we attend?  And, seriously?  How could I give up the “Mental Floss” (32) blog or Julie Zickefoose (a nature writer from my region – 0 unread)?

I gotta go.  I have reading to do.

I love Google Reader.

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “Is it Wrong to Love a Web App?

  1. Wow, what a great post. I, too, love my Google Reader where I can have so much information come to me. I have found that the longer I have had Google Reader the quicker I become at scanning an entry and deciding if I need to pay it more attention. My star button gets a workout on some days! I have The Pioneer Woman in my links – I get such a lift out of how she writes. Chart Porn looks interesting!

    • I’ve gotten much better at scanning, too – but I’ve got to learn to stay away from “Subscribe!” In one of his posts today, Richard Byrne (Free Tech for Teachers) says he scans more than 1000 feeds a day – Wow!

  2. Pingback: Posts of the Week – Visit these blogs – Week 1 | Teacher Challenge

  3. You have said exactly what I feel — I am always trying to find ways to organize my “stuff” and Google Reader is great (that and my Diigo library). I have to watch my time though, it can be daunting when I lose track of the time — but there’s so many really great blogs and websites to check out ! Thanks for sharing your passion!
    /suzanne
    http://www.techatease.blogspot.com/

  4. Amalie

    You have put this beautifully! It is good to see others in the same boat as me. I too use Google Reader and Diigo (oh how I love!), but I can not keep on top of the reading, there are soooo many useful sites, ideas, tutorials etc out there.

  5. Thank heavens someone has articulated my problem! I check google reader and feel overwhelmed at times with the numbers of posts I haven’t read. I read your post and now have even more to check out!

  6. I loved your post! First off, you’re fun to read. Second, you got me thinking about Google Reader again. I have to admit that I haven’t done much with it even though I know it’s wonderful. Dare I venture into it more?

    • Thanks for your comment! And Google Reader? Absolutely! But be warned – it sucks you in, but in a good way. You’ll be smarter and more informed than ever! Of course, if your experience is like mine, your house will not be as clean, kids will be hungry, papers won’t be graded…

  7. It’s funny – but I was nervous about putting anything into my Google reader just because of what you describe….I WANT to be organized but I worry that I won’t be able to keep up with the reading…there is just SO much information out there that I don’t want to miss! I guess for now, I’ll keep things as they are and read what I can. (I do think I will be adding your blog to my reader!!)

  8. I just got a Google reader about a month ago, so although I’m not too overwhelmed so far I can see how it can easily get out of hand. I agree with what you said on your about page…it’s more important to be interested than to be interesting. I have a ton of interests, and blogs are great ways to keep up. However, as an English teacher and graduate student, I’m always at a loss for time to read what I want to instead of what I have to. Hopefully I’ll get better…someday.

    P.S. You’re my newest Google reader subscription. 🙂

    • Thanks! I understand exactly what you are saying about the lack of time for “personal” reading – and I know I don’t have near the grading load you must have! But, I’m convinced that taking the time to read blogs and books and magazines for my own pleasure trickles into my teaching and changes it for the better, so I think we just need to give ourselves a break and carve out the time we need. (Easier said than done, though, isn’t it?)

  9. Ok, not only am I hooked, but I also blogged about it… and mentioned this blog! Thanks for this post.
    http://wwwatanabe.blogspot.com/2011/01/how-do-i-pursue-self-selected.html

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