Bye Bye, Google Reader

July 03 2013

Potluck is a site where you post links, and your friends can comment on them. There's no status updates, no photos, only links. This idea isn't new at all, but Obvious Corporation (the people behind Branch and Medium) has made it a more fun, gamified experience.

Your feeds on Twitter and Facebook, and ironically enough Google+, are also a hotbed for interesting, relevant links. On Twitter, I may follow someone because they post interesting links or they write interesting content. I'm not following the site it's posted to, I'm following the author of it.

Which brings me to the demise of Google Reader and RSS feeds in general. The official reason Google gave for retiring this beloved app is thus:

While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has
declined. So, on July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader.

That's pretty vague, but it seems like the reason the inbox-style article collection isn't as valuable is because of the other ways of collecting links and good content.

Not only has the way we discover content changed, but the content itself has gotten better, and we have more of it than ever before. Places like Svbtle, The Pastry Box Project, and Signal vs. Noise are a few of my favorites, and I know when I go there I'm going to be reading high-quality articles. I don't need an RSS notification to tell me when they've written a new article, because I will either hear about it via Sidebar, Designer News, or through my various social media feeds.

However, if you still enjoy the notification of unread stuff, there are a some alternatives to Google Reader, but for me, the stress of the 237+ unread articles is more than I would like. If it's worth reading, I'll run across it another way.