Computerized Mourning

Posted by on July 3, 2013 in computers | 4 comments

As a librarian, I taught a lot of people about how to use their computers.  Many of those people were not … skilled users; rather, they primarily relied on rote practice to make their machines function.  (“Click on the yellow box in the lower left-hand corner that says Search.  Always click on the box, which is always yellow and always in the lower left-hand corner and always says Search.”)

I’ve been rather smug about my own adaptability with various computer programs — I get *extraordinarily* frustrated when they don’t work, but I’m willing to poke and prod and read the screen and find where things have gone, when “upgrades” shift things around.

But I’m having a really hard time losing Google Reader.  I (and many millions of other people) relied on Google’s free service to read several dozen blogs every day.  Google wasn’t earning any money from us, so it decided to shut down the service.  I’m experimenting with two alternatives — AOL Reader (simple interface, clean screen, but challenging to organize feeds and very, very slow to update those feeds) and Feedly (overly complicated interface and screen, but able to organize feeds and updates promptly).  I’m not happy with either option, and I might seek out others.

Mostly, though, I’m still at the sulking stage of computerized mourning.  WHY did Google have to take away my favorite tool?  Why didn’t they figure out a way to monetize?  Sell an unobtrusive ad?  Charge a reasonable fee for use?  I actually find myself getting *angry* with Google for not finding a better business solution.

Grr.  And argh.  I don’t like computerized change.  And I’m going to like it a whole lot less this fall, when they take away my home page (iGoogle — also not earning them money).  And that one, I think is a crying shame, because it will remove the way I most frequently interact with Google’s search engine.

As I say, grr.  And argh.


  1. Feedly’s default settings are not for me, but once I set up the advanced settings I have found it to be a decent Reader alternative.

    Also, I do give Google props for this: they made my news feed exportable so that I could transition smoothly to something like Feedly and you can even export your starred Reader items, etc via Google Takeout.

    • I’m actually settling into Feedly fairly well. (I found AOL Reader unworkable because it does not indicate who the author is, and a lot of the blogs I read are group blogs…) I just feel old, that I want to hold on to a technology that Google tells me is no longer used ::wry grin::

  2. It’s like a friend told me he was dying and now he is indeed gone. The little blue triangle in my Chrome toolbar is now gray and washed out. Sob! Feedly is okay, but I miss Reader!

    • We’ll continue in mourning together!