With Wednesday's news that Google was shuttering its Reader service, many have taken to the streets to voice their displeasure. Some even starting a petition to 'Keep Google Reader Running' Personally, I am indifferent. That would not have been the case a couple of years ago when I was an avid Reader user. Back then, the first thing I would do each morning was open Reader and "catch up" on the latest going-ons in the tech world and see the latest posts on a handful of my favorite blogs.
But things changed at some point. I began to dread the morning check-in because of all those unread items waiting for me there in Reader. Sure, I tried to eliminate all but the most useful and valuable feeds, but the number of unread items continued to grow from 50...to 70...then to over a 100 each morning. And then it got to where I could no longer clear the mounting unread items each morning. Each day now started with a "well, you've failed the first task of the day". Self loathing was now part of the equation before my day had even begun. Looking back now, I think "Wow, you let that stupid application become such a sore point in your daily routine." But, yes I did.
And then one day, I just deleted it. I had had enough and just killed Reader...and I haven't looked back since. No, I haven't completely closed my eyes to regularly viewing blogs and news sites. I do that now using a combination of Twitter and Flipboard for iOS. In the case of Twitter, I rely on the network of my follows to help cultivate the news and blog posts that I should read each day. Flipboard provides a great looking and comfortable experience for reading those site that I follow but I don't feel pressured to open it each day and read every last article.
With all the doom-and-gloom posts of Wednesday's announcement, I was reminded of a different way to receive your news - the "river of news" service that Dave Winer crafted. It allows you to subscribe to news feeds, podcasts, etc, but rather than reminding you of all the unread items you have waiting, it just refreshes a list of the most recent items that have come available in the past 10 minutes. The oldest items "falling off the back of the list". I am not certain its for me as I'm fairly satisfied with my current set up. But it might be a reasonable alternative for those Reader users that are looking for a place to land after July 1.
So what about you? Are you bummed by Google's recent announcement? Do you have an alternative approach?
If so, I would like to hear about it!