On 4th and 5th May, I found Google Reader to be suddenly significantly slower than usual in Marking all feeds as read and opening new folders of feeds. I use Chrome browser. Of course the first thing that crosses your mind is what have I done? Is it my fault? Have I done anything or added anything new (eg browser extensions) which may have slowed it down? I know that buggy extensions can cause slow-downs and I’ve blogged about this before. I hadn’t installed any new software or any new browser extensions on my desktop PC and none had been updated. So I loaded Google Reader in Firefox – still slow. Okay, so I booted up my Acer Aspire netbook running Ubuntu Netbook Edition and Chromium browser – Reader still painfully slow. All other sites including GMail seemed to be okay, so the problem seemed to lie not with me but with Google’s servers. How could I double check?
First port of call, the official Google Reader blog – but no mention of anything there. So then I turned to Twitter and searched for “Google Reader” slow. I counted about 18 tweets on 4th May reporting something along the lines of Google Reader is painfully slow for me today. Most seemed to indicate a recent slow down and weren’t rants about Reader being generally slow.
So that seemed to confirm it. Just sit tight and put up with it and see how things are tomorrow before taking more drastic action like changing feed reader. Sure enough, things were much better the next day. Running the same search on Twitter as before, I found only 2 relevant tweets on 5th May and none on the 6th. So the ‘Twitterverse’ seems to be a really good mirror of slow online services.
So that’s my quick diagnostic on a slow online service. Just a pity that the official Google Reader blog didn’t take the time to alert us of the temporary problem.
Is there anything else I might have tried? Have you any tips on troubleshooting a slow online service? Drop a comment below.