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Was the social aspect of Google Reader that good? I never used the social features; I just used RSS for its express purpose, to avoid having to click fifty bookmarks every day.



I had several friends with whom I shared a dozen or so links each day in Google Reader. When Google dropped the sharing feature in Reader, I basically stopped sharing with them and haven't found a replacement. Google+ definitely was not a viable alternative. It was my mistake in relying on Google, in retrospect.


Some "sharebros" began to write a Google Reader clone, tapping into the "We are the 1000+" frustration:

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2011/10/sharebros-...

But progress has fizzled to nothing:

https://twitter.com/#!/hivemined


The social sharing was very valuable for content junkies, b/c the only people who shared stuff on reader were other folks who were heavy users of RSS. Comparing signal to noise from that community vs. my twitter feed is a total joke. When Google shut it down, people in my RSS sharing circle were really upset. It was sad.


Here's an old comment of mine with regards to google readers social aspect (and when they made the changed to G+):

"I'm also usually very open to change and what have you, but I despise the new reader. Exactly because I like to be in reader, and see what my friends posted from reader. I don't want it mixed with the rest of my social life, I don't want it mixed with FB like status updates, I just want to see what people are sharing in Reader. It's like I had my own "community" in reader, a small but special subset of people really in the "know". Yeahyeah, that's a circle, I know, but I went to reader to read what they shared, then I read my own, and shared. The 'dialog' was more circular, if that makes any sense. That, and my Reader slants heavily on the 'images' and artsy side of things, it was almost like a micro tumblr that only friends saw, but unlike tumblr, it's not recycled stuff, we are all pulling from different places, I followed a guy from finance, a dude that loved astronomy, and chick in advertising, a guy in tech, a girl into silly comics, and it was all right there, im my reader. It was perfect."


I don't know that "that good" is the metric against which people are measuring the old Google Reader. I think a more accurate metric would be "that adequate" or "that appropriate". As others replying to this have stated, the old social functionality of Google Reader dovetailed nicely into the RSS aggregator functionality, where you could build a small close-knit group of people who--while having their own areas of expertise--took care in paring down their own individual firehoses to well curated streams of interesting content. That's it: no more, no less. When Google trashed that feature set to shoehorn the 10 pound G+ monster into that 5 pound bag, it was over.




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