This Blog Runs on Reader

I don’t know how many of you use Google Reader, but the ones who do are probably as upset as I am about Google’s decision to gut the social RSS reader.  In an effort to boost Google+ (which kinda sucks), they’re not letting Reader users use Reader as a social forum anymore.  You can still read the RSS feeds you’ve subscribed to, but you can’t follow people’s shared items or comment on them.  Here’s the best outline of why Google Reader is a phenomenal social network before the change.

Even if you don’t use Reader, trust me, if you read this blog, you’re a beneficiary of its great design.  I use my Reader friends as a clippings service and the discussions we have on shared items often kick-start posts.  Mind you, I do a lot of culling, or this blog would have a lot of posts on Orthodox infighting, goats, and bitcoins.

Beyond it’s utility to my blogging, Reader has become the most important social network I use.  Having discussions on full text feeds turns out to be the best way to keep in contact and intellectually engaged with all my bizarre college friends.  Reader is a network rooted in content, not birthday messages and application requests.

I’m helping coordinate a demonstration outside Google’s DC office tomorrow at 12:30, and if any of you can show up or want to forward the link to any DC friends, I would much appreciate it.  If you can’t make it, please sign this petition asking Google to put the change on hold and get more input from Reader users.

About Leah Libresco

Leah Anthony Libresco graduated from Yale in 2011. She works as an Editorial Assistant at The American Conservative by day, and by night writes for Patheos about theology, philosophy, and math at www.patheos.com/blogs/unequallyyoked. She was received into the Catholic Church in November 2012."

  • Nick

    In the meantime we can hope this gets updated

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/better-greader/

  • fester60613

    Yoiks! I really should keep up with the Google news!
    I subscribe to 30+ sites on Google Reader!
    Thanks for the heads up.

  • Christina

    Huh, would explain why suddenly everything looks hard to read. I don’t know many others using gReader, but use it almost all day myself. A social network based on the things I’m reading would have been awesome…but most of my friends and family are split between facebook and twitter.


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