The Death of Google Reader

A few weeks ago, Google announced some big changes to Google Reader.

The overall strategy by Google to unify its services drew them to the conclusion that they have to force all Google Reader users to begin using Google+ to fulfill the social aspect of Reader.  Friending, following others, and commenting on shared items within Reader would now be discontinued…

I don’t think this really hit me until it actually happened.

As I was greeted with the “Welcome to the new Reader” message last week, I finally got a feel for how big this change truly was.  Usually, my first click is to “People you follow” when I log into Google Reader.  Well, that’s now gone.  There’s no longer a simple way to see shared items, to comment on them, or to get a quick overview of what items my friends are reading.  Instead, I’m stuck muddling through Google+ posts trying to find a way to make this social world work again.

I just feel completely lost in the new Reader.  The extra clicks/page views necessary to get the same functionality in Google+ make it difficult and inefficient.  I don’t like the look of the new Reader.  I don’t like having to go back and forth between 2 different sites to see and comment on shared items.  It’s just a sad state of affairs.  I’m sick of companies trying to force customers/users into a model that they obviously don’t support.

As of yet, there isn’t a very solid alternative to Google Reader.  I’ve researched and tested a few, but the social aspect is a key that is missing in nearly every contender.  I’m looking forward to trying out hivemined, which seems to be getting alot of e-buzz as a true Google Reader alternative.  Until then, I’m struggling to adapt to a new way of doing this.  A significant portion of my friends and my own internet activity was spent inside Google Reader, and at this point we’re all trying to re-group as the table cloth was pulled out from under us.