Google Reader Fail
January 14, 2011 9:36 AM   Subscribe

Google Reader filter (literally): How do I get rid of all the LOLCATS, Cheezburger, Epic Fails, World of Warcraft GOLD blogs, Pitchfork Music , Bit Torrent Movie Downloads and MMO Champion articles from my Recommended Items?

Ok, so I know that Google Reader will use items that you have "liked" or possibly even "starred" in order to compile its list of recommended items for you. I have a feeling they are supposed to be custom-tailored to your tastes and preferences. The problem is, I do not have any blogs in my subscriptions that are even close to being related to any of the blogs GR keeps "recommending" to me.

I remember a time when GR's Recommended items was my favorite "subscription" - it used to be chock full of cool and interesting items. Now I am stuck wading through 10-20 articles I would call junk (they just aren't relevant to *me*) to get 1 or 2 interesting articles.

I have even been using the "not interested" link at the bottom of these "junk" items, but they keep coming.

Is my Google Reader broken? What can I do to fix this?

posted by farmersckn to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I just downloaded a Greasemonkey script that purports to do this (I read a multi-author blog, some of whom I hate and others I enjoy) but I can't seem to get it working. Maybe you can?
posted by downing street memo at 9:41 AM on January 14, 2011

I'm basing this question on something that Amazon does: is there some kind of "we recommended this to you because...." link somewhere on the Google Reader page? I was having that problem with Amazon, where it would suggest weird things to me, and finally clicked on the "we recommended this to you because..." link and saw they were basing some of their oddball recommendations on a book about lighting equipment I'd gotten for a friend as a gift. I just had to check another "don't use this for recommendations" box and it stopped.

Is there any kind of similar function Google Reader uses? In that maybe you looked something up for someone else, Google Readers' bot saw that and thought, "oh, okay, I guess he's into Lolcats now"?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:42 AM on January 14, 2011

I'm experiencing the same problem! For me it keeps giving me football articles and christian family articles, both of which won't go away no matter how diligently I click "Not Interested." And don't even get me started about how much worse my suggested articles got once Google Reader seemed to figure out I'm a woman. No thanks on the makeup tips and handbag articles.

This is only useful for future action, but one thing I think it uses to determine what to recommend is what you email to other people via Google reader. In my case, the only directly correlated item (aside from actual relevant similar blogs I subscribe to) that shows up in Suggested Items are photos of pets wearing clothing, and I can pinpoint exactly which article i sent to friends that caused it.
posted by soleiluna at 9:54 AM on January 14, 2011

If you're at a point where you're doing a lot of clicking through to get maybe one or two interesting articles, why not just stop using that feature?

I unsubscribe to things all the time when my interests shift and I realize I only read a few entries here and there.
posted by Sara C. at 2:20 PM on January 14, 2011

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