Words in Boxes

Nouns, verbs, and occasionally adjectives.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Back, for now

Yeah right...

I've decided to follow a few of my friends off the Google Reader reservation and give the blogging thing another go.  It's been a while - almost 5 months - and I'm facing an upcoming month packed with travel, so I'm skeptical too.

This, despite the recent (and awesome) upgrades to Google Reader.  Things that you can do with a blog that you can't do with Reader include:

  1. Comment back and forth.  Reader's notes go a little way, but not all the way.  When someone shares something with a note, I have no way to respond. 
  2. Add real commentary.  Sometimes I want to highlight certain sections, or intersperse my words with what I'm linking to, or use bold and italic, or babble on, like this. 
  3. Foster delusions of grandeur. In Google reader, only the 5 people or so that I e-mail in Gmail can ignore what I post.  On a blog, the number of people who can ignore what I post is potentially limitless. 

When it gets down to it, Reader is re-inventing the wheel.  There's a whole, developed infrastructure out there for blogs (XML feeds, Technorati, etc.) and it all works no matter what feed reader you use, and even if you don't use one at all.  No matter how much Reader improves, it's still a small, closed system trying to duplicate the what's already available - and what already works better - on the wider Internet.

I'm James Sulak, a software developer in Houston, Texas.

You can also find me on Twitter, or if you're curious, on my old-fashioned home page. If you want to contact me directly, you can e-mail comments@wordsinboxes.com.