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GReader is going away, and I'm not that sad

There was a period where I was insanely into RSS. It was what I did every time I sat down at the computer. I fired up the Google Reader tab, and spent hours in there. I pored over everything, and it was a really fun game to try and get through everything and still retain at least one useful piece of information from my frenzied filtering. That was usually the case, as at that time, I had a pretty tightly curated list of feeds.

Then Twitter came along. I was quite the naysayer of Twitter when it came out, dismissing it as a fad. But I got caught up, just like most people. It was a lot of fun sharing small bits of stuff, and forced me to distill a thought down into 140 characters. It gave me insight into smart people and what they were thinking about. But most importantly, I started using it as my reading list. It was easier to let others pick out the good stuff, and then scan through to find the stuff I thought was relevant to me. Quickly, favorites list became my reading list.

I did, however, switch everything over to Feedly this morning. What I realized is that my list of feeds has become completely unmanageable. I actually broke their UI trying to organize everything. (Not sure if it’s their fault or mine.) The biggest problem is that I would randomly add feeds after seeing a single post, and many times there was nothing else helpful in the feed. Or worse, the feed is completely dead. In order for RSS to be useful, it seems like a feed has to be active to make it’s way to in front of my eyeballs. So I got rid of a lot of feeds that had no posts since my last visit to GReader.

This experience has made me doubt the future of RSS Readers as a scalable solution for consuming information. While I’ll be giving Feedly a fair shot, I wonder how if I’ll actually be opening it up every day, as opposed to going to Twitter favorites.

Published Jun 9, 2013

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