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Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Google loses it and other musings

I've posted before about removing widgets because the servers serving them were too slow - and holding up other content. Well add to this the widget being reprogrammed with no warning and disappearing.

That's what Google just did with Reader. Changed something so one aspect of the service disappeared, in this case my 'what I'm reading' widget - vanished. Fortunately, I spotted it because someone else did and alerted me, I thought to check whether I could redo it and I could.

Crap customer service from Google - adding to the accumulating bad image they have in that regard - as sending me an email alerting me to it changing is dead, dead simple. Automatable, even.

Because I figure it's a one off (hah!) I did a bit more and withered my feeds and put them through the Reader widget.

Availability is very important! Google Maps is a real alternative to expensive alternatives not just because it's free but also because it's available, it's reliable. MS Live Local isn't, it's slow. Haven't experimented with Yahoo Maps yet but I prefer their interface and they're fast, so there is a Google alternative.

I also removed the Technorati 'tag cloud' widget because it wasn't picking up my tagging — Blogger has 'labels' rather than tags, the cause I believe. You clicked 'environment' and it gave no results. I haven't seen an easy to use 'tag cloud' widget yet (I may now go look, they're the best way to organise content :).

I really dislike how Technorati's changed and I haven't seen much development in areas like widgets with them for a long while (Read/Write Web has more about Technorati's woes).

Blogger does seem some way behind WordPress, which appears to be the cogniscienti choice, having used that elsewhere and seen what else it provides I see why. I just find myself defaulting to Google products because it's easier and quicker and the negatives aren't crucial.


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