Dear Google Reader,
What went wrong?
Why did you have to go all Jocelyn Wildenstein on me?
Our relationship of a few years was going just fine, until yesterday, when I logged in to you and it felt like waking up next to Micheal Jackson. I can totally understand the pressures of having Google Wave, Buzz and Orkut as your siblings but this move was totally uncalled for.
I still remember those golden moments that we spent together. You were my window to the blogging world. More so because WordPress and Blogger blogs are blocked at my workplace thanks to evil Websense. But you – my erstwhile dearest – you smuggled these posts into my Internet Explorer with Al-Qaida-ish dexterity. You also didn’t have any qualms in working with my pre-independence Internet Explorer. You were nice like that.
Thanks to you, I could see the updates from This Isn’t Happiness and Batmania in the coziness of my cubicle. Or read those Rage Tumblrs and laugh my corporate ass off. You tested my window minimizing skills when you’d suddenly throw something like this at me. You helped me crib about the growing number of unread items(thanks partly to Dear all, blank all) and kept reminding me that there is more awesomeness in the world than can be absorbed by my lousy neurons. You allowed me to hangout with awesome people like Manuscrypts, Roshnimo, Surekhapillai, A_traveller, ShockMonger and many, many more. Read what they shared, share what they read. You never judged me for following my own blog. You understood. You always did.
That was all until yesterday. Yesterday, when you botoxed yourself with a lot of whitespace and big buttons. Yesterday, when you refused to work with my Internet Explorer and started nagging me to upgrade. Yesterday, when you removed all my friends, removed all my ‘likes’ and took away any opportunity to share any post with my friends.
You know how it felt? Trapped in that cubicle with a dysfunctional you, all of a sudden. That sense of loneliness. Like someone had kidnapped all my friends and taken them to a lonely island(read: Google Plus). Like someone is shoving good blog posts into my hands and not letting me share them properly. Not letting me scream in the favor of a wonderfully written blog post or diss a sad news report in the comments. You’ve destroyed the nice little universe that you helped me build, without any warning whatsoever.
It is a pain not being able to read the latest post of Daddy_san, Neo or Chuck. Not being able to share Greatbong’s posts or Shenoyn and Jammy’s shenanigans. To miss those little gems that Maininmalaysia writes. To read Gunmaster_g9’s latest updates and feel that you connect with someone’s way of writing. There are hundreds of blogs that I’ll miss. KrishAshok, Krtgrapher, TheComicProject, Masala Chica, Punvati – each one of which leaves a unique, pleasant taste. I will of course catch their updates on Twitter. But I will no longer be able to read them at work – the place where I need them the most. No longer can I go back in time and read one of ShockMonger’s poems or Veni, Vidi, Vetti’s posts or Dr. Gonzo’s musings, and feel instantly better during painful nightshifts. You have robbed me of something very precious. Something for which I had developed a strange fondness in recent months. Something that made work bearable(like that 12 Rs. Masala chai, which also closed down yesterday).
Dear Google Reader, our relationship is over.
Thanks for letting me download all my links and shared items. That was nice of you. My emotions are undownloadable and I am not compatible with Google Plus.
It was great while it lasted.
Lots of love,
(P.S.: This letter will be shared on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere(maybe even Google Plus) but not on Google Reader. And that, my dear, is why the cookie crumbles.)
– No disrespect intended to Micheal Jackson. May his soul rest in peace.
- Suggestions that I should stop cribbing and upgrade my browser at work will receive the ‘Like-I-didn’t-know-that-already’ template.
- Some tips for current Google Reader users:
1) You can download your:
List of people that you follow
List of people that follow you
Items you have starred
Items you have liked
Items you have shared
Items shared by people you follow
Notes you have created
Items with comments
Go to Google Reader Settings>Import/Export to download all these to JSON/OPML files.
2) You can add more sites in the Sharing options. Go to Settings>Send To. You can add options to send the post to Twitter/Facebook among other sites.
3) You can sign a petition to bring Old Google Reader back(I haven’t signed yet) or can participate in #OccupyGoogleReader. Your wish.
4) There may be some useful tips on these Reddit Threads: 1, 2.
5) I have not found a substitute for Google Reader yet(and I doubt I’ll found a good one too). But here is a website worth looking at – www.goodnoows.com
6) Google Reader users who used it under aliases, no donut for you. Also, Iranian Reader users, apparently no donuts for you too. Hard luck.