What comes after Google Reader? (besides weeping)

Sing a dirge today for Google Reader.  Tomorrow, it passes out of existence.

I’ve decided to switch to Feedly, which has an easy one-step import for Google Reader users.  Their interface is nice enough, as is the app, but it was their import that won my heart, because it also pulled in my tags!  I’ve been using Google Reader as a filing system for a while, and now I’ll be able to keep saving my clippings into categories that include:

  • Cyberwar
  • Drones
  • Epidemics
  • Football
  • Human Flesh (as in Rénròu Sōusuǒ, this isn’t my anti-gnosticisim folder — that would be ‘recipes’)
  • Mary Mallon
  • Thesis
  • Transhumanism
  • Woot

I’ve signed up with Hive, too, since it enables sharing, and I plan to use it only to read items shared by friends and to share pieces I’ve found, but right now it’s too buggy for my full time reading.  I’m sad no one has fully replicated the old, social Google Reader, since it was the only content-oriented social site I belonged to.

While other sites, like twitter and facebook, let you share links, Google Reader-that-was had you share full text, and prioritized comments.  This made it feel a lot like a French salon, or a book club where people actually read the books.  Instead of keeping up with friends photos and status updates, I was plugged into their readings and reaction, and it was easy to be drawn in.  We’ve kludged together alternate ways to share, but I still miss our hivemind.

I always prefer to get to know people through their hobbyhorses.  In The Four Loves, C.S. Lewis writes:

Friendship arises out of mere Companionship when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure (or burden). The typical expression of opening Friendship would be something like, “What? You too? I thought I was the only one.”
… It is when two such persons discover one another, when, whether with immense difficulties and semi-articulate fumblings or with what would seem to us amazing and elliptical speed, they share their vision – it is then that Friendship is born.

This happens less often without an easy way to invite people into my thoughts. After all, few of my friends blog, and, now that I’ve graduated from college, I don’t get to hear them weave interests into anecdotes meant to illustrate their philosophy twice a week.  Thank heavens I am prone to propose bookclub/fights, and have friends (and a beau) who accept.

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  • Will Duquette

    I find it fascinating that the social aspect of GoogleReader was so important to you. I was an early adopter of GoogleReader, and liked it simply as a convenient aggregator that’s available on every machine I used. The social aspects were of no interest to me at all.

    • Pseudonym

      Same here. The push for social networking was, to me, precisely the point when Google Reader started its decline (not because social features weren’t a valuable addition for those who found them useful, but because it drew developer attention away from what made Google Reader valuable to begin with).

      Google Reader was the lens through which I accessed the Internet. It’s like losing an old friend.

  • Will Duquette

    Oh, and I’m using Feedly too. It seems to get the job done.

  • theladyisugly

    I’ve been using Feedly for a really long time, so I haven’t looked too hard into GR alternatives, but If I’m not mistaken, The Old Reader http://theoldreader.com/ is supposed to be a replica of GR as it used to be.

  • http://last-conformer.net/ Gilbert


  • grok87

    i loved the wailin jenny’s!

  • tewhalen

    I’m using NewsBlur now, and I find it does everything Google Reader used to do, except for full-text search of every blog post I ever read. It has the social features (sharing/commenting), but few of the interesting folks I used to follow are using it, so I’m missing them as well.