After many, many months using Bloglines, I was tempted by the hype about Google Reader and decided to give it a try to find a better way of managing my feeds. A weekend or even a couple of days holiday meant the backlog of articles soon built up to unmanageable proportions and I didn’t find the Bloglines user interface an efficient way of processing that information.

Despite my grumbles I was so used to Bloglines’ quirks that even the improved user interface of Google Reader took quite some time to become comfortable with. The ‘river of news’ available on the ‘All Items’ link is particularly helpful in managing the information overload. I like being able to consume bite sized chunks of articles rather than having to read all new posts on a feed in one go before they are lost. The number and variety of keyboard shortcuts have also proved useful once mastered.

However, today presented the first bug within Google Reader. As per the image below, on accessing my stories the article preview boxes were blank. If I rolled my mouse over them to automatically ‘mark as read’ the content appeared (see second image), suggesting the bug is related to the ‘mark as read’ mouseover functionality. It was the same issue whether reading the river of news or an individual feed.

The problem appears limited to Internet Explorer (I’m running version 6.0), with Firefox working fine.

Having had a fruitless quick search for others with the same issue, this may be a local javascript error, but I’d be interested if anyone has experienced anything similar.

Image 1: Viewing all items (no mouseover)

Google Reader blank 

Image 2: mouseover a single item and it appears

Google Reader blank 2