Google Reader Bleg

I suppose I shouldn’t complain about Google Reader, what with it being free and all, but would it be too much to ask to have the option of displaying UNREAD posts?   Occasionally, as just happened again, I’ll be 15 minutes into jumping through my queue, highlighting the items I want to read more thoroughly and possibly blog about later, and accidentally do something that clears the list.  There’s no obvious way to get back to where I was.

Particularly odd: There’s an option to display all previously read items — why I’d want to do that, I haven’t a clue — yet none for displaying unread items, which is the thing I’d most likely want to read, not yet having read them.

Am I missing something?

FILED UNDER: General
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Virginia says:

    There is a simple way to show them.

    Click on the “All Items” button on the left. Then look at the window on your right. Underneath the title “All Items,” there is a “Show: X new items – all items” Click on “X new items” and that will show all unread items.

    btw: I have frequently marked all posts as read too, and that’s super frustrating and I wish I could fix it.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Oddly, mine doesn’t seem to give me that option. I can chose between All items, Read items, Starred items, Shared items, Friends’ shared items, and Notes.

  3. You’re not missing anything. I’ve had the same problem.

  4. hpb says:

    I like to ‘Star’ items as I go as a bit of a workaround. Also, in the List view there is a ‘Mark as Read’ option that can be UNchecked after it is initially checked when you open it (while taking a peek). Just don’t hit ‘Mark All as Read’ — that will get rid of this option.

  5. Virginia says:

    That is odd, but I think the google people might conduct secret beta tests. I know my sister had a different (and better) version of gmail than I did for about a month. Then one day my gmail changed to her version without informing me of the switch.

  6. I have been using the Feedly pluign for Firefox for some time now, and it gets its feed info from Google reader. It has a nice “Save for Later” function that allows you to flag the items you want to return to later while still being able to mark them as “read” and thereby taking them out of the queue.

  7. Boyd says:

    Try looking a bit to the right of the list of options you cited, James. Look for the heading of All items (x) (x being the number of unread items), or if you’ve selected a particular blog from your list of blogs, the title would be the blog name, such as Outside The Beltway | OTB. Directly under that, it should have a line that says something like:

    Show: 2 new items – All items

    …and then buttons for Mark all as read, Refresh, and Feed settings. If you’re currently viewing All items, then the 2 new items will be a clickable link which would result in only showing new (or unread) items.

    If this doesn’t match what you’re seeing, then you and I have some fundamentally different settings for Google Reader.

  8. odograph says:

    I’ve gotten into an occasional trap. I usually view groups of things (“economics” or “technology”) together in “all items” mode. As I scroll my right window it marks things read. I can return in “all items” or “new” mode and pick up.

    Ah, if you only navigate using the left bar then you aren’t signallng to the reader what you’ve read. Clicking on a left bar blog with one item does not mark it read. Clicking on the right display of the item does.

    (Grouping blogs and scrolling through them seems easiest).

  9. Triumph says:

    I normally keep up on my new feeds. But, doesn’t the “Show New Items” setting show all unread posts?

    (up at the right when you are looking at the feed from a single site)

  10. hpb says:

    Ah, if you only navigate using the left bar then you aren’t signallng to the reader what you’ve read. Clicking on a left bar blog with one item does not mark it read. Clicking on the right display of the item does.

    Are you describing Expanded View with the ‘In expanded view, mark items as read when you scroll past them’ setting checked?

    There’s an option to display all previously read items — why I’d want to do that, I haven’t a clue — yet none for displaying unread items, which is the thing I’d most likely want to read, not yet having read them.

    When I’ve accidentally refreshed and lost ‘partially read’ items, I use this option to find the ‘lost’ item again. It does mean I need to pay attention to the category and the surrounding items.

  11. Jeff says:

    What Google Reader needs is a way to see and add comments straight from the app. I read almost everything in Reader, and prefer it that way. I only visit sites when they use RSS excerpts, or I need to comment. White Whine, yes, but it’s just so close to perfect. In fact, this is the first time I’ve visited your site, and it was to comment.