So. Google’s shutting down Google Reader

Frankly I’d not thought about my RSS read­ing pro­cess in a while. I use NetVibes (pic­tured above) as my main read­er, and it’s been pretty stable up until today; they pos­ted a note say­ing they’re deal­ing with an influx of new mem­bers — likely emig­rants from Google Read­er.

I like NetVibes because it gives me a simple head­line-in-a-tile view that makes it easy to quickly scan my news, and NetVibes man­ages my feed sub­scrip­tions.

This is where the pain will be felt by those using Google Read­er when the big G shuts it down. Many 3rd party apps for mobile devices use Google Read­er as the ‘sub­scrip­tion man­age­ment’ fea­ture of their app. When Google Read­er closes on July 1, these apps will have to have in place some sort of replace­ment for sub­scrip­tion man­age­ment, or they’ll break.

Update: If you’re look­ing to migrate your Google Read­er sub­scrip­tions to NetVibes, the team at NetVibes have this handy guide. (Thanks Randy!)

For now, this won’t impact me or my news­read­ing habits, but as I men­tioned at the top, I’m rethink­ing my RSS read­ing, and as Dave Wein­er states, rethink­ing my use of Free when applied to ser­vices I’m com­ing to depend on.

 

WordPress blogging on an iPad just got easier

Earli­er today, Word­Press released ver­sion 2.7 of their iOS blog­ging cli­ent. And I’m happy to say it works well so far, though I’ve only giv­en it a very simple workout.

Pre­vi­ously I’d tried the Word­Press app but had a num­ber of prob­lems pub­lish­ing from it, ran­dom crash­ing etc. So I nuked it from orbit — the only way to be sure.

And then I replaced it with Blo­g­Press, a paid app.

Blo­g­Press is clean, works well, and has some nice fea­tures such as HTML short­cuts and Tex­tEx­pander integ­ra­tion (a must for any iOS writ­ing plat­form). But Blo­g­Press is really designed to con­nect to more than just Word­Press blogs, includ­ing:

- Blog­ger / Blog­Spot
— MSN Live Spaces
— Word­Press
— Mov­able Type
— Type­Pad
— Live­Journ­al
— Drupal
— Joomla
— Tumblr
— Squarespace
— My Opera

Word­Press for iOS is pretty single-minded — it’s designed to talk to Word­Press blogs (both hos­ted and self-hos­ted). And the blog­ging func­tion­al­ity is still pretty basic, but the one fea­ture I really appre­ci­ate in the Word­Press app (that’s miss­ing from Blo­g­Press) is the abil­ity mod­er­ate com­ments.

As well, developers say they’ve killed over 100 bugs and reduced crash con­di­tions, and cleaned up the user inter­face to make it easi­er to man­age blogs.

So, actu­ally now, I’m using both apps to man­age my Word­Press blog­ging — the free uni­ver­sal Word­Press app, and the paid Blo­g­Press app, mostly for writ­ing and HTML work.

Here’s hop­ing that the Word­Press app con­tin­ues to grow up 🙂

Full details at the developers blog.

I have a new blog! And a contest!

iPad Darkroom Icons Header (480px)

Over the last little while you may have noticed I’ve become a bit iPad cent­ric. To be spe­cif­ic, I’ve been explor­ing using the iPad as a port­able, digit­al dark­room.

Yes, the iPad doesn’t have a cam­era (for now, maybe in ver­sion 2?), but that shouldn’t stop us from using it to manip­u­late images impor­ted into the iPad.

A few of my Future Shop posts have explored this concept, most recently this series I’ve star­ted on digit­al dark­room work­flow.

But there’s so much stuff to talk about that I thought it deserved it’s own blog. And now it does:

iPad Darkroom Logo

iPad Dark­room is a place where I’ll start shar­ing inform­a­tion on Apps, Tools and Tech­nique for using your iPad as a core com­pon­ent of digit­al pho­to­graphy.

I hope you take a look around, it’s still quite new and a little rough in spots — that’ll be fixed up in the com­ing days.

And do feel free to leave your thoughts, here or on the blog itself.

Oh, I almost for­got. To really kick the blog off with a bang, I thought I’d have anoth­er blog con­test — with the help from my good friends over at Mac­Phun.

All the details on the con­test are, of course, over at iPad Dark­room. So go! Enter the con­test, and let me know what you think!

Engine Start

Little bit of crop­ping, little bit of col­our pro­cessing, little bit of Tilt Shift. All done on the iPad. I used Cam­era­Bag, Tilt­Shift­Gen, and Pho­to­Pal.

Fun with iOS apps 😉

Saving the Internet, one plugin at a time

Well, a few posts ago I men­tioned that I’d taken steps to speed up this blog.

Here’s a Ping­dom response time graph show­ing how fast slow this blog was, before I pulled a few plu­gins.

And here’s what it looks like today.

So, accord­ing to these res­ults, the blog is faster.

And what I’d done wasn’t all that extreme either; just removed a few plu­gins that were request­ing data from extern­al sources — such as the 3rd party font I used to use to lay­out this blog.

Now, the increased speed hasn’t changed my page pos­i­tion in the search engines, nor caused hair to start filling in my bald spot.

But it is nice to know that by mak­ing this minor change, I’m improv­ing the user exper­i­ence for any­one vis­it­ing my blog, and maybe help­ing to save the Inter­net by cut­ting down on the band­width usage, just a bit.

Your thoughts? Did you notice the snappy speed at which this blog loads?