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?