Troyens

Troyens

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Google Reader, RIP




Yesterday was the last day of Google Reader, which was my go-to RSS reader for most of the last decade. It was willing to fetch some new feeds last night after midnight, and I still have Reader open in one browser, so it's not quite dead, but will be the next time I close the browser or reboot or, very likely, click the Refresh button.

I was not happy when the social features were removed a couple of years back, because I discovered some good blogs by reading friends' shared items. I was even more unhappy when its demise was announced a few months ago.

And what do you know? The two replacements I've looked at have a serious and predictable lack: Feedly's Android app does not have a Mark as unread function, and neither does the Digg RSS reader in the browser. Feedly & Digg, what were you thinking? Your software engineers very likely use an RSS reader, and you cannot have missed this feature on Google Reader.

And while you're at it, give me a way to alphabetize my feed list.

11 comments:

Molly said...

I've tried out a few and I think I like The Old Reader best so far. I don't really need a phone app, so having all the other features/key commands has kept me comfortable.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Thanks, Molly! I need to take a look at The Old Reader. A friend commented a while back that it wanted a very high level of access to one's Google account, which concerned him.

Andy Olson said...

I use newsblur. It's paid, but dirt cheap. The developer is putting a lot of work into it, and I believe he's also in the bay area.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Thank you! I'll take a look. I mean, I would have paid for Reader to keep it under development, but that's not the Google way. :(

Aleksei said...

Apparently no one in tech journalism has a fucking clue about the usefulness of Google Reader as a site aggregation tool that allowed users to simply keep tabs on a large number of sites and their content without having to go to each site and sift through the chaff. Why this very simple concept is lost on so many boggles the mind. And to think that Twitter, a medium limited to a set number of characters is a valid replacement on any level shows a level of abject stupidity that warrants a Darwin Award to any who think it.

Some people can say until they're blue in the face that social networking has replaced the pure functionality of Reader but it never will for me. I think it speaks more to the ever shrinking attention spans that people can't pay attention to something that is older than 5 minutes since that is all twitter/facebook/etc are useful for. FB and Twitter are just watered down snippets that require me to hunt for it. With Reader I would go through 1000's of pieces of content a day, without fear of missing one, and I didn't have to jump through a million hoops to do so.

So far, none of the clones (Digg, Aol, Feedly) have everything I want nor a simple, clean layout. Why is this so difficult to create and maintain?!

Reader’s death isn’t the end of a product, it’s the end of an era. We have protested, bargained, begged, and cried. Now we have to accept and adapt.

Sad.

Lisa Hirsch said...

I agree with everything you say except the opening: take a look at the shrieking in the tech press when Google announced the pending Reader shutdown. There's plenty of appreciation of the need for RSS readers out there.

I've found Twitter useful because friends find things that are outside my usual feeds.

Tod Brody said...

Agree with Molly re The Old Reader. It's the best substitute for GR that I've found. They don't yet have a dedicated mobile app, but it seems they will soon.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Thanks, Tod!

Vajra said...

It's irritating when something that is seamlessly useful is abandoned. I now have almost all the blogs I follow on my page but there are too many to be taken seriously by anyone (ok, few read my blog but the point still remains). I'm using Feedly: time will tell.

Molly said...

Interesting. As far as I recall, I just imported my opml file to The Old Reader. Feedly, on the other hand, you had to seriously link up (to the point of uploading yr feed file to google if you weren't already using Reader...)

Elaine Fine said...

Try Go Read