Sunday, March 17, 2013

Google Reader ... :-(

You've read elsewhere that as of July 2013, Google Reader is going away.  Apparently it's not pulling its weight, as other Google applications do.  ::sigh::

It works.  It works well.  It does what I want it to do.  Perhaps it's because of people like me who only need a desktop computer Reader?   (I don't have a smartphone, so I obviously don't need a mobile app for that).

But, even if Reader doesn't make any money for Google, why not just let it *stay* as-is?  Don't do any more updates.  Assign one programmer to handle the situations that break Reader, otherwise, just leave it be!   It can happily sit in the background of Google and let people use it.  Let it be a deprecated product.  As long as it still works, users will be happy.

Heck,  I'm such a stick-in-the-mud that my email program has been deprecated for *years*.  I started, years and years and years ago, with Eudora.  I like Eudora. It does everything that I want it to do for a email program.  I'm used to the way it looks and works.  Qualcomm got rid of it years ago and Corel doesn't support it any longer.  But ya know what?  I don't care.  *IT STILL WORKS*.  And so, I continue to use Eudora as my emailer.

 But, except for death and taxes, all things change.  If Google is going to yank Reader, I'll need to find a replacement.  I've looked at the suggestions for an alternative.   There have been many blogs with such suggestions .... just Google for them.

Many of the replacements that I've seen focus on mobile apps.  That doesn't interest me.  What I want is something that gives me the look-and-feel of Reader so that I don't have to jump through a whole bunch of new hoops to figure out how to read my blogs.  And I definitely don't need a touch-screen appearance ... gah!  that would drive me nuts!

Enter "The Old Reader".   The following description is from a Life Hacker blog entry by Alan Henry:
The Old Reader may be in beta, but it was built to be a suitable replacement for Google Reader. And not just Google Reader as we know it now, the old Google Reader, that still had plenty of tools for sharing and organization. You can log in via Google or Facebook, and import your feeds from Google Reader or any other service via OPML. If the interface looks familiar, it should: it looks a lot like Google Reader, complete with folders down the left side, your list of stories in the main pane (click any to read), and one-click subscription to new feeds. You get many of the same keyboard shortcuts, and even get the same ability to follow other Old Reader users and share interesting stories with them—the way you used to be able to with Google Reader. The Old Reader is fast, free, and super simple to use. There are no mobile apps yet, but the web site works well on mobile devices, and the developers behind it note they're working on it. There are, however, Chrome and Safari extensions for it.
Hear that???   It has the same look-and-feel as Reader!   Oh, be still, my beating heart!   Truthfully, I never knew there was a Google Reader appearance before the one I'm currently using.  Or maybe the Google Reader I'm using *IS* the old format.  Who cares?  All I know is that The Old Reader is familiar enough for me to feel immediately comfortable.

Apparently 18,776 other people feel the same way because that's how many are in front of me in the import queue.  I have no idea how many users there are, currently.   The Old Reader people said that their user base increased 7 times at once, so understandably, they are having "just a bit" of an import log jam.  They are very good about keeping users apprised of the situation, so we won't think that our import file has become lost in cyberspace.

Not to worry, Google Reader is good until July.  By that time, The Old Reader will have worked out the queue length; I'm happy to wait.  If I find new blogs between now and then, I can individually add them, just like I currently do with Reader.  When my import file is processed, those individually added blogs  will not be clobbered.

So, I think I've found my replacement.  As much as I really, really, really dislike changing computer components, this one is looking pretty good.

No comments:

Post a Comment