cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by futureatlas.com

And there is will go soon, beloved Google Reader, something I have used on a daily basis since… the dawn of it’s time (2006, the Cambrian Internet era, when many crawled from the sea and learned to walk the web). It rescued me from the clunkery of Bloglines. In the past presentations, I would tell educators that when any software claimed to “save you time” it was a sham, a lie, with one exception… Reader, which gave you an efficient way to comb through sources you selected for information in any area (and anyone who suggests Twitter does this efficiently has their head up an ostrich’s bung hole).

google sucks

Now I get daily reminders.

It feels like sand kicked in my face. Or maybe poop pellets.

I keep clicking the red button, in denial, to no avail.

The reasons make much sense. Not.

We have just announced on the Official Google Blog that we will soon retire Google Reader (the actual date is July 1, 2013). We know Reader has a devoted following who will be very sad to see it go. We’re sad too.

There are two simple reasons for this: usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products. We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience.

C’mon. You are “sad”? Bullshit.

If you were sad you’d want to move to happiness. You’d want to make me happy.

You are a business, and this has nothing to do with some false pretense of not doing evil or acting like a Facebookish friend. It’s all about money. Be honest, willya?

I don’t want a better user experience. I don’t want to take photos by blinking in glasses. And guess what happens to a “devoted following” when you take away something from them they value? Well you cannot just buy bad PR, you can make it for free. In the boardroom.

Where is the outcry among the tech writers? Mashable? TechCrunch? Where is the investigation? The critical inquiry? They all roll over for Google, for they exist to serve ads. Suck the teat. Suck it.

But this is all wind-spitting.

The end is near.

So I am set up on Feedly. I made sure my subscriptions were synced in Flipboard. And I am waiting to see the beta of Digg’s reader. There is a new plugin from Pressbooks that might be feasible for rolling your own Reader in WordPress.

Wahh. I don’t want a Reader Wannabe.

It’s bitterly ironic that I am draggin my heels over change. I talk, write, tell often that the internet is always changing, that we cannot afford to be married to tools, that we need to be ready for more things coming and going.

Dogfood. Yum. Dogfood.

Check this out. I went to Reader Settings, to grab the OMPL of my subscriptions. I did this in the past, it was a 40k file.

Now I am sent through the Google Takeway drive through. My only option is a 180 Mb download:

reader takeaway

Nice to have, not too sure what I will do with 180 Mb of JSON.

Until I decided to clean out some dead and old feeds.

To get a new 40k OPML file, I had to download another 180+ Mb of takeout.

It’s not really that hard, but nice use of electricity Google, to make me download 180 Mb to get 40k.

Great user experience.

This is a bit of a reminder that the web we inhabit is made by others. Can be taken away. The web is a fabric, and I thought of that yesterday while using a broom to knock some spider webs off the side of my house. The web with holes, empty spots, becomes a tattered fabric. Holes might merge to gaping voids, and then giant swaths of dead space.

We should be making the web, not breaking it. And we make in our own spaces.

Thanks Google. I’ll be remembering this.

I guess 7 years is a good run. In web time. Of course, I maintain web content that is 20 years old. Because I am not a web ripper, a web destroyer. I am not only a Web Maker, I am a Web Keeper.

Waving goodbye to Reader.


cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by Úªario Reale

Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.

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