Most importantly, Google Reader keeps continuity. It has a history, a context that I find missing from the jumble of posted links and "in medias res" comments I get on my social share streams.
I don't see myself giving it up anytime soon. (Like others have posted, I do miss Bloglines...)
I switched to Newsblur this year and haven't looked back. It definitely has a better take on sharing.
See for yourself, since it's open-source: http://github.com/samuelclay.
And because I run my own feed fetchers, you don't have to worry about the inevitable sunsetting and neglect of Reader. Also means I can do far more interesting things to feeds and stories that other Google Reader API-based clients can't.
Try it out: http://www.newsblur.com
- "Original" button definitely didn't do what I expected. It just closed everything and took me to the target site. Maybe it's just for some "unframeable" sites but that's how it worked.
- "Keep unread" and "Mark as unread" definitely missing. Sometimes after I start reading it turns out the item needs more time than I have now and I want to get back to it later. Not the same as "Save" which means I definitely want to keep it - here I just don't know yet.
- Clicking on triangle and gear in the feed display seems to do the same thing? Why there are two of them then?
- In feed stats for some sites, it says: "IF YOU WENT PREMIUM, THIS SITE WOULD UPDATE EVERY". That's it, nothing after that.
- Something weird going on with stories display - folder with no unread content shows yellow "27" and clicking on folder that shows no content at all opens set of stories that seem to be unread stories from elsewhere.
Side note: I love the vim keyboard shortcuts.
And what might be interesting for some: The hosted version has 60 feeds in the free version, for more than that you'll have to upgrade to a premium account.
The only thing that I can think of, in terms of historical records, in the UI - is the 'how often is this feed updated?' graph under feed information.
I disagree with you, their main advantage is that they're Google. So they won't get shunned/blocked by webmasters. Other people/services can and do get blocked occationally.
Other advantages are; GReader is pretty easy to get going with (I already had a Google account), the UI isn't too much in the way and the fact that they're "always on" (but the last one is true for all 'webapps'/'web services') so they won't miss a update from a feed.
My take on advertising likely differs from most here; I don't mind others paying the bills with my attention -- GOOG does a decent job of it, even. I understand and appreciate it goes deeper than text ads displayed contextually to the feeds' stories. Retargeting, psychographics and inference are OK by me, too.
I completely appreciate the wish to pay for a service in place of having one's contrail sold. Believing your attention and behaviors don't get sold -- or wont get sold -- because you pay should not be a presupposition (c.f. cable tv and [your ISP here]).
From the post -- "and I certainly don’t buy products that aren’t in some way designed to be functional" -- I don't understand how this would be otherwise: would you buy something without intended function?
There also seems to be no attention paid to Chrome Sync (yes, they're likely selling our contrails), Delicious, and other services that've come and gone.
I will provide my attention in return for services I find of value. gReader's been such for several years. Until there's a clearly compelling alternative, I'll stick with it.
Honestly, I think it's great if the author wants to sing the praises of some new products or services he found to replace his old ones, but that's not really how this read. It had this awkward tone of thinly veiled innuendo, without really saying anything. If the author found new services he thinks are better, I'd find it much more helpful as a reader if he actually expound on what makes the new choices so good.
So right now, my prime metric for any RSS reader is how easy it is to get through my items and filter them out. Right now I'm using Google Reader for that again, and between vi-like keyboard shortcuts, "v" to open a tab in the background (w/ simple FF hack) and using either "starring", instapaper or pinboard for "read later" functionality, I'm pretty happy. Sure, if I'm away from my computer for quite a while, things pile up. But as I've said, just reading those scored "important" while just marking the rest as read would worry me a a bit. Never mind that syncing + webapp really makes it easy to keep up with things, even if I'm away from my computer.
I guess you need more support if your subscriptions are that huge or if you're aggregating aggregators.
Still, just like with gmail, I wouldn't mind seeing a good self-hosted replacement. Preferably one that doesn't have more requirements than a Van Halen tour rider.
: apps: Reeder (mac, iphone); Mr. Reader (ipad)
Feels like greader would be if they kept driving it forward. They also do an import of all your greader feeds in one step, so I was able to just drop-in replace greader.
* RSS: There are many different FOSS RSS aggregators. What do you need to pay for there? Akregator for example.
* Social network: Diaspora. Ad free, privacy oriented, free software as well. Free service too (no fees).
In essence, not every free service is built on breaching privacy of users to sustain itself.
I still think there's an opportunity for something better-than-Twitter, IRC, RSS in the mobile space. Twitter is SMS mobile, but has what is honestly a shitty client experience on (everything, but especially) mobile.
I wish someone would do something with the same initial goals as Diaspora (self-control, etc.), but focused on mobile, with ease of use on mobile as the goal. Snap Chat is kind of a step in that direction, but I'd rather have something where users got to explore the continuum of ephemeral stuff (like Snap Chat) to semi-permanent (like Twitter) to more permanent (like a blog, designed to be referenced in the future) to really permanent (publishing).
I feel like this is a case of the tech savy being somewhat removed from the majority of the web's consumer base. Honestly, I've had a surprisingly large amount of trouble explaining something like IRC/RSS to someone like my parents or my non-techy friends. I try to explain that IRC is just like any other chat room, but honestly it's incredibly scary and unattractive to most people.
When Firefox 4, the first version without the button, was released, Twitter had already 200M users.
Then, I put only the 4 or 5 websites I check religiously into Google Reader, so that I can always get every update from those versus skimming the latest posts in my Twitter stream.
I find this a better/ideal solution, since that way it's 140 character summaries instead of entire articles that are unclear.
Note sure if it helps, but thought I would share it..
There's a lot of thought-less consumption of (supposedly) free technology going on. I keep waiting to see more backlash about it. Instead I see a person here or there figure it out, share with others, everybody nods their heads sagely, then we go on as always.
What with YouTube purging a bunch of fake video watches this week, it certainly looks to me from the business side that we're scaling the freemium model way past where it would naturally take us. We're creating empty houses full of sock puppets. Meanwhile somebody has to pay the electric bill.
Keep up the good writing!
I personally far prefer this arrangement to Twitter. I don't really like the Twitter concept to begin with but I can't even make it more palatable with a better client because they keep pulling the rug out from those who create better Twitter clients.
Not sure I trust you with my feeds.
I'm searching for a service which wouldn't be hosted or have a dns name in U.S., especially for mails, because subponeas are not controlled enough there. Is there any chance some YC start-up works on something similar?
Try it out http://feedspot.com
What i'd like now is a better version of instapaper or the alternatives.
I'd much prefer an app I run myself with user maintained site defined scraping definitions.
I like instapaper though, it's good for what it does. Could be better though.
I use it every day, it's almost perfect.
The founder has said in articles/interviews that going free was the right choice for pocket, they're not looking to be acquired, and not ready to talk about their future business model/revenue streams, heres him from July when asked about their plan:
We’ve known where we are headed since last year. But like anything we do with any product or feature, we don’t release it until it’s ready. This is a new, uncharted space and we’re not prepared to release something that isn’t right.
I'll admit, I'm pretty weary of the whole thing, but willing to see where it's headed, I guess. I think if their plan was to just flog off their users data, they would have started doing it already, but it seems like they have something else (Hopefully interesting/unique) planned.