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.