Google Reader: great yet awful

I use Google Reader every day. I think it’s great. I encourage others to give it a try, although Bloglines does seem to be gaining some oomph of late, and I’d pay for Greader if I had to. I think it’s quick and intuitive. But… you knew that but was coming, didn’t you?

A UI disaster lurks within Google Reader, and I think it really needs to be fixed. Back in January I clicked on the ‘Mark All As Read’ button and managed to heave 500 posts I wanted to read overboard. Tonight, due to the awful touch pad on my infernal Windoze laptop and an extension issue, Firefox clicked on ‘Mark All As Read.’ 700 posts from November 15 till now – poof! Those 700 (200 Flickr pictures and 500 posts) represent the best of the last ten days’ posts I’ve received, so this is so bleeping annoying.

In a Google Reader leaked meeting video, there was some explanation about why mark all as read cannot be undone, and so be it, but here’s a crazy idea – how about a dialog asking “Are you sure?” For people who wish to live dangerously, they could check a ‘never warn me about this again’ box, but for people like me, this would save a great deal of frustration.

It’s worth noting that my old post about Mark All As Read is visited with real regularity by people who find it via searches that make it clear they made the same mistake I did. This suggests to me I am not alone and that this would be a worthwhile issue for the Google Reader team to address.

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