It’s time again for Christopher Burg rants about stupid shit that probably only affects him and two other people on this planet.
Let’s take a minute and talk about Google Reader. I use Google Reader is the back end for my RSS readers. I’m not a huge fan of the Google Reader website, or using websites as interfaces for my data in general, but I’m a huge fan of the Reeder Really Simple Syndication (RSS) clients. The Reeder clients are the only reason I’m still using Google Reader after the latest stunt Google pulled.
I haven’t a Google Apps for Businesses account tied to christopherburg.com. Before moving things to my personal server e-mail sent to any address on the christopherburg.com domain actually went to GMail. I also had my Google Reader account tied to my Google Apps account which proved to be a big mistake. I’m not sure when this happened by Google apparently decided it would be a jolly good idea to eliminate Google Reader support for Google Apps accounts. This meant I lost my entire list of RSS feeds which is really swell considering I rely on them to get a large portion of information you read on this very site.
Needless to say this really put a monkey wrench in my writing process. For the last couple of days I’ve been getting all of my material by manually visiting news websites like a savage beast of days gone by (you know, before RSS). This has proven itself time consuming as all Hell. Manually rebuilding my RSS list was going to prove difficult because I have so many that I can’t remember every feed I had on my account.
Let me just say right now that being a data pack rat isn’t a bad idea. I never delete any data unless it’s completely irrelevant (torrent files for instance). Fortunately in this case I remembered the NetNewsWire software I used to use as my RSS client and it still maintained a local copy of my RSS feed list. All I had to do was switch the Google account it was linked to from my @christopherburg.com to my @gmail.com account and tell the client to merge my feeds with the new Google Reader account. Thankfully I haven’t really added any new feeds since I abandoned NetNewsWire for Reeder so I basically have a complete list of feeds again.
Why do you care about this? No reason really as you’re probably not concerned with the process I used to find stories to write about. But this scenario does have a couple of lessons that may be applicable to others. First, have local copies of all your data because you never know when some online service is just going to vanish. Google may not go away for a long time but their services have been known to appear and disappear unannounced. If you don’t have local copies of data on a online service and that service goes away your data goes away with it. The second lesson is being a data pack rat isn’t a bad thing; disk is cheap so why get rid of data that may be useful someday down the road?
My little crisis has been averted and now I can continue punching out stories for this site without having to manually visit a bunch of sites. I still want to give a middle finger to Google for making my RSS fees vanish like a fucking specter though. So here it is (for those who can’t actually see me right now I’m giving Google the finger)! I now return you to your regularly scheduled news.