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.