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August 22, 2008

Shallow Reader

I don't like to read feeds in Google Reader or in any other feed reader. After subscribing to sites that seem interesting, Google Reader makes them boring and uniform. All the subscriptions lose their identity and become random bits. There's also the pressure of having to read the new posts and clean the "inbox" which makes you skip interesting posts or just skim them.

"Skim = To read or glance through (a book, for example) quickly or superficially." (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004.)

When you open Google Reader and there are 400 new posts, each article becomes a mission from a hopeless game created by yourself. You want to be free again, so you pretend to read some of the articles or just their titles, without a context and without seeing the full picture. "Mark all as read" is your only ally, but you don't want to admit that you need it.

"Subscription - Contractual agreement between a seller and a buyer to provide the buyer with a service or product to be delivered (served) over a period of time specified in the contract at a total price that is dependent upon the duration of the service." (Dictionary of Marketing Terms. Barron's Educational Series, Inc, 2000.)

Feed readers seemed a good alternative to newsletters because you gain access to more content without having to reveal your identity, you can always unsubscribe and it's easier to share the content. But newsletters were less frequent and had a personal touch.

"Shallow - Lacking physical depth; having little spatial extension downward or inward from an outer surface or backward or outward from a center." (WordNet)

Reading becomes a mechanical task that needs to be completed, instead of a rewarding intellectual activity. You no longer pay attention to details because you're anxious to "read" everything.

"Read - To examine and grasp the meaning of (written or printed characters, words, or sentences)." (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004)

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