I was happily enjoying my sunny afternoon yesterday in this gorgeous new city that I just moved to recently. Suddenly, I had one of my close (and über nerdy) friends message me exactly at 4:14 PM PST with 5 words that I thought I would never have to hear:
“Google is retiring Google Reader.”
Believe it or not, I went through Kübler-Ross’ stages of grief in the last 24 hours.
1. Shock & Denial
My heart stopped. My body went numb with disbelief. Suddenly my world came crashing down. “No way! There is no way! You’re lying!” I quickly ran to my two fastest sources of information: Google & Twitter. Surprisingly, there weren’t any news articles popping up just yet on Google, and there was nothing on Twitter… Until a second later. Suddenly there were non-stop tweets from everybody going through the same emotions as I was. It was getting real.
I sat there in front of my laptop at work thinking to myself, “What am I going to do?” I was devastated. I started to message and rant to my friends, coworkers, etc. about how I felt. I was ready to flip a table and storm off in a tantrum. The guilt started to pour in. I thought about all the good times we had, like how we shared many hours together every day while it provided to me great news from my beloved blogs and sites. I just wanted to read it every day. Then I felt bad about the times that I didn’t give it the attention it needed, and it had 1000+ unread items. Life just suddenly felt scary and chaotic.
Then the bargaining sunk in: “I’ll read you more, Google Reader! It’s okay, Google! Take away the sharing features of Google Reader! Take away iGoogle! Take away Google Buzz! But not Google Reader! NOT GOOGLE READER!” I just wanted it to stay for a little bit more. Many people online felt the same way too — to the point that an online petition started less than half an hour after Google released the news. I signed, shared, and crossed my fingers.
I walked home with my head down while listening to Eric Carmen’s “All By Myself.” (Okay, maybe that’s a stretch). The worst feeling was going into my Google Reader, and a pop-up showed up saying “Google Reader will not be available after July 1, 2013.” However, my friends and I tried to help each other through this. We were already looking through a variety of alternatives to see what we could do. It’s nice to have a support group sometimes.
I took a deep breath and thought to myself, “It’s going to be okay.” Luckily enough, great sites like Lifehacker and Mashable provided some Google Reader alternatives. Initially, I wasn’t very fond of the idea of using something else — I felt like I was cheating on Google Reader. I tried out NewsBlur initially, but the UI seemed a bit too old-school for my liking. Then came Feedly. Pretty on the eyes — similar to that of Google Reader, with a hint of the new grid-like interfaces that most websites have nowadays. Furthermore, there’s an iOS version of it for it as well — that works similarly to Flipboard. Feedly is currently promising a smooth transition on the backend for those who are Google Reader advocates. So far, so good. However, I’m going to have to back up my Google Reader before fully transitioning. I think I’m going to keep to Google Reader until July 1st before fully moving on. My heart just still lies there.