Saturday, March 13, 2010

Dear Gawker, "Why?"

So, um, earlier this week, the unthinkable happened: all the Gawker related blogs (including my faves, io9 and Jezebel) went from full feed RSS (where their entire article plus pictures were accessible) to limited (a small, tiny picture plus a paragraph).

I wrestled with what I should do. io9 has been my favorite source of Sci Fi nerd news for at least six months now. But it interrupts the flow of my reading if I have to click out every single time one of their articles.

And Jezebel is a nice addition, but since I'm subscribed to several other feminist-type blogs, I was ready to pull the trigger:

But then I read about how they now have a VIP RSS feed that still has the full feed, so don't worry! You can just subscribe to that one! Only....why make the change in the first place? Seems kind of silly.

I know there are reasons (websites views, stealing content, etc) to make it limited feed, but this is what happened in the few days between when the feed went limited and I discovered the VIP one: I began to imagine my life without Jezebel. Not so much io9, but suddenly, I couldn't even see the good parts of Jezebel, so why subscribe?

The same feeling came up a little with io9, but to a lesser extent. I had to be really interested in the article to read it. Now I was skipping more articles than I read. Its possible that I would eventually unsubscribe from it, too.

Another blog that I really, really enjoyed was a blog about Mad Men called Basket of Kisses. But the second they went to limited feed and confirmed it would stay that way...I stopped subscribing and stopped visiting. Actually had not been back since, until I decided to reference it.

After all, if you want me to pay attention to your product (blog in this case), you shouldn't make it super hard to get to. Did you really want to question my loyalty when there are so many options?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

In Which I Work Up The Courage To Speak To Strangers On The Metro

She pulled out my last week's nemesis, The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. I debated, as she put the book down for a moment, whether or not I should ask her about it. The book that I got 46 pages through and gave up on.

Neither of these things are normal. I don't give up on books, and I usually don't try to talk to strangers on the train about the books they are reading.

But I was so bored with the book, unable to force myself to get it out and read it (two days in a row). So dry, with the child character being all...unbelievable, I guess, and boring boring boring.

I don't say anything on the train. But she's right behind me on the escalator, so I initiate:

"You're reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog, right?"


"Are you enjoying it?" I ask.

She makes a sour lemon face. She complained that both characters spoke with the same "voice" even though they were supposed to be completely different. I complained that it was boring. She's reading it for book club so she'll probably stick with it.

Cue relief: that I'm not the only person that thinks that book is incredibly dull.

I probably won't pick it up unless I can get it in French -- not because I'm that sure it will be that much better in French, but because if I'm that bored, I might as well be working at my translation skills at the same time.