I could have written this post.
T-Minus 14 days till the immanent demise of Google Reader, a product I’ve used for a number of years on a daily basis for simple consumption of media. Sad Fact: I have google reader open all day and will reference it dozens of times during the day. It is the first thing I open when I logon my computer, and is usually the last thing I scan before I go to bed. I rely on Google reader more than I do email at times.
I also use Social Media such as Twitter, G+, and Facebook, but I cannot use those for the kind of pure consumption that I have trained myself on.I’ve been looking for a replacment but so far the alternatives are not all that stellar. Lets compare:
Feedly is interesting, its the most like Google Reader, but it relies on Google Reader now in order to function. The upcoming release is promised to be a full fledged replacement, yet I don’t know how you do that with 14 days left to do so without a significant beta trial run.
Not bad really, it has a tight layout that is changeable, it lacks the ability to separate out by color (this was accomplished on Greader for me with a greasemonkey script, which I’m sure I could write if I had the time). Still it lacks certain functionality, I cant drag and drop new feeds between folders, adding feeds is a bit cumbersome. Its still at this time a clone of GReader.
Feedbin on the other hand is a full Google reader replacement which is run by as I understand it, one person. Still it lacks the polish of both Feedly/GReader and right now is limited to specific views, little customization, and you have to pay for it. Now I don’t mind paying for it. Hell I’d pay google a $100 a year for GReader access so $20 on this isn’t going to kill me. Still, its early for this product and I am pleased that Ben Ubois is so responsive to suggestions.
Of course, when you have used something for years and have it dialed in, its hard to change. I think this is part of the reason Windows 8 have met with such abject horror.
This is the screen that greets me each day. Its easy to separate out posts (I hate white space), I can change the layout, the font sizes, how I sort and order my feeds, etc.
Of course this level of use didn’t happen overnight, it took a while for me to get to this level of comfort and I’m willing to bet that I could achieve it with the other products out there today, but… I can’t do what I do now with those products, and I cant understand why the platform is being killed off.
What pisses me off most about the Google decision is that if one coder can replicate a good 50% of what Google was capable of doing, then really how much resources do they have to carve out to keep reader alive? This is a company that has billions of dollars sitting offshore, private jets for its leadership team, and has time to build self driving cars, yet they can’t dedicate two people to keeping reader alive? Perhaps I’m missing the bigger context of the business decision to terminate GReader, but honestly I simply cannot get how Orkut is still a functional platform, yet GReader needs to be terminated.