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January 25, 2008

Google Reader Shows the Published Date

Besides a new favicon and a confirmation dialog displayed when you mark all the posts as read, Google Reader now shows the published date of a post in a tooltip. Next to the snippet, Google Reader displays the date when the post was indexed by Google, not the date when it was published. Sometimes the difference between these two dates can be a single minute, but it could also be much bigger.

Google Reader also added some new keyboard shortcuts: a to add subscriptions, g+d to open the feed directory, e to email the current item. You can see the list of keyboard shortcuts by typing ? in Google Reader.


  1. Reader also started to respond to every click of the "Mark all as read" button with a pop-up that asked "Are you sure you want to mark all as read?" Very irritating! Yet as soon as I joined a number of people in complaining about it on the Reader Google Groups site, it went away. Did they change their mind? Is it intermittent? Will it return to annoy again? Or was it all a horrible nightmare?

  2. Here it is, straight from the Google Reader Guide:

    "This dialog box doesn't show up every time, but only if you're marking
    50 or more posts as read. We chose this as a balance between helping
    people avoid accidentally losing large amounts of unread items, while
    not being so intrusive as to interrupt people on every single mark-all-
    as-read action. Thanks for your feedback on it, though. We appreciate
    hearing what folks think about features and changes so we can keep
    iterating and improving.


  3. I mentioned this in the first of line. The confirmation dialog didn't disappear, it's displayed only if the number of items is bigger than a certain value (I suspect the value is 100, but I could be wrong).

  4. Thanks for clarifying this, but Google Reader should learn something from Gmail's unintrusive UI that shows an option to "undo" almost every important action. Instead of asking you if you want to mark all the posts as read, Google Reader should display this message:

    "All the posts have been marked as read. Undo."

  5. Google Reader also added some new keyboard shortcuts: ...e to email the current item.

    I'm being nitpicky, but the e isn't new; I've been using it with abandon for a while. ;)

  6. I'd love to see the a apply Label shortcut, just like they're doing with the Better Gmail 2 extension.

  7. To add a tag, type t and then the first letters of the tag. To discover all the available keyboard shortcuts, type ?.

  8. The new confirmation dialog is in fact annoying, no matter their intent. I have to agree with the above poster suggesting the simple "Undo" link iGoogle has.

  9. It should be something on the lines of:
    Published: 4 hours ago
    Received: within 50 minutes
    Published: Yesterday, 16:00
    Received: within 2 hours
    It's pretty useless to show "Jan 25, 2008" twice, and the year should only appear if its not this current year.

  10. Since i use reader predominantly on my mobile, it'd be great to find the same feature on the reader mobile too.

  11. is it just me, or have they reverted to the old all-blue favicon?

  12. My two cents in case any of the GReader team is reading this:

    In the Reader Help Center,
    "Are there any keyboard shortcuts?" question has a chart of GReader keyboard shortcuts.
    This chart has not been updated with the new shortcuts.
    The chart ought to be offered as a separate printable page, also.

    I love how GReader is getting more and more user-friendly. My current thing I want most is the settings option to open any item in a BACKGROUND tab. This would be a timesaver. It's a feature that has been widely requested.

  13. Not too useful, but worth mentioning.

  14. @xotspot Yep, I thought so ;-)

  15. It's great that they've added a new "e" shortcut to email, but it's annoying that I still have to revert back to the mouse to actually hit the "send" button. I wish they would a a shortcut to send the emailed post as well.

  16. @Alan: yeah that would be a nice little touch.

    Hoping that GReader staff reads these comments.

    I noticed that when you get a list of keyboard shortcuts (by typing "?"), you can open it in a new page and print it. This page has been updated, unlike the Help question which I mentioned 4 comments back.

    Another "fine-tuning" timesaving option that I'd enjoy would be a setting option to return to "All Items" after you "Mark all as read" in any folder or subscription.

    A lot of these tweak requests are minor in the big scheme of things, but more choice is always better, and over time these little savings in keystrokes add up to the difference between trudging through an app and flying with it, if you know what I mean.

  17. So why can't I type the letter v/V when e-mailing an article from Reader? The keyboard simply does nothing when typing the 'v' in a text field.

  18. I've made a better GReader keyboard shortcut. My goal is to just use keys to navigate smoothly through my hundred+ blog posts a day. You can download it and print it out. Explained here:
    Direct link:

    @sander: I dunno--it does work for me.

  19. @Via
    >opening in background tab

    And as has been noted several times in the google reader help newsgroup, that's (also) a feature available in most if not all browsers capable of supporting google reader in the first place.

    The keyboard shortcut cheatsheets are all missing one bit; what happens when you press '3' while viewing search results and having pressed 1 or 2 after searching.

  20. @via - I see it works on my other computers. Strange, even when disabling most of my extensions it doesn't yet. Will have to debug further.

  21. @ Anon. Yeaaah, I came across this thread from MetaFilter on several ways to default openng posts (and anything else) in the background automatatically-like. Eggcellent!

    I tried "3" in Reader as you described...nothing. What happens for you?

    @sander yup, just another ghost in the machine needing to find its way out, no doubt.

  22. Oops, forgot to post the aforementioned MeFi link:

  23. @Via (and everyone else)

    Pressing 1,2,3:

  24. @ Anon: aha yes I see now.
    Have added to my cheatsheet (above).

  25. "Google Reader displays the date when the post was indexed by Google, not the date when it was published"

    I think is more useful the published date than the received date. Is it possible to change this behaviour?
    I like to view the published date directly into google reader.

  26. It'd be nice to be able to sort by publish date rather than received.

  27. Vote for sorted by publish date as default feed rendering behavior

  28. Stupid question, but does anyone know how to make Google Reader display the entire blog post instead of just an abbreviated portion? Thanks

  29. @roy @Even +1 I hate seeing responses before I see original posts! Happens most on twitter feeds...

    @Robin That's completely up to the feed provider.. some have both full text and summary. Many make a conscious decision to annoy you for more ad revenue :(

  30. Can someone help me with Google Reader?
    I only discovered it today, so i don't know much about it.

    My questions are:
    Does it always take 15-30 minutes after the article has been published on its original website (eg BBC) for it to appear on google reader? And if so, does that time vary for different subscriptions?