Kicking And Screaming–They Killed Google Reader
Maybe it’s an age thing.
I am sat here questioning if I am turning into a dinosaur.
We used to joke about how you needed to get a child to help their parents program the VCR (remember them?) but I can’t help thinking I am heading in that direction myself.
For me this was my primary source of news and information online. With some 250 RSS feeds, I was able to sit down in a morning and rattle through hundreds of relevant (and not so relevant) news items in a matter of minutes from many different sources. The workflow was efficient and, in line with modern thinking, I could access this “river of news” from any device at any time. If I read an article on one device it was marked read on all other devices.
But now I am forced to change.
So it’s not as if I haven’t done a whole hearted shift in approach before. Not that long ago I went through the exercise of moving my online world online. Shutting down my own servers and using platforms such as Google Apps, WordPress and SmugMug to do the heaving lifting. Enabling me to concentrate on the content and not the platform.
So Google keep saying that the world of online content is getting more social.
Services such as Zite, Flipboard and others can take these news feeds and present them in an online magazine style with nice graphics, lots of social interaction and what have you.
These types of services have been described as “Lean Back” services. You sit back in your comfy chair and browse through your magazine. Which is fine if you want to read through a handful of articles but simply doesn’t work for hundreds of news items.
I don’t want fancy graphics and other readers opinions. I want the information delivered straight to me eyeball without distraction and without the ads preferably as I down a cup of strong coffee. See what this always on world of news has turned me into?
But it’s the ads that power the internet and it’s the advertisers that rely on the social element to target those ads accurately. One can’t help thinking that the real reason Google killed Reader is because it didn’t support their primary business. Advertising!
So I have to accept that just like the death of Usenet before it, the concept of raw RSS feeds is an old fashioned one and so I am dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century.
It doesn’t help that Google Reader was actually a service not a client. So it’s not just about finding a new application to read my news in (like Zite or Feed Demon etc) but a service that all my clients on all my devices can connect back into.
I am currently playing with Feedly and it shows promise. I think with time it could help wean me off my Google Reader addiction whilst still allowing me to stay in touch with all that is happening around me but the good news is that I am not alone.
Bloggers around the world are screaming about what Google has done so I am sure there will be plenty of opinions on which service is a worthy replacement and all of those opinions will continue to be delivered into my River Of News on a daily basis.