I’ve been following the Buzz about Buzz today (click on the link – get it?), and, wanting to try it (since I’m not of the privileged few bloggers given access at launch), I started browsing on my iPhone where I heard it was available. Immediately I was presented with a list of people following me that I was not following back, so I went in and clicked follow on about 300 or so people that it said I was not following yet. Big Mistake.
Later in the day I went to check Google Reader, which until today was my RSS Reader of choice, and lo and behold I had over 400 items from just the last hour sitting in my unread items box. It turns out when you follow someone on Buzz, it also follows them on Reader, and who knows what else on the various Google properties. Now, the only way to bring my volume of repeat RSS shares from friends down on Google Reader is to go into each and every one, mark hide, and manually move each into their own separate folders. All this on an already slow Google Reader interface. I’m not looking forward to that.
I have been critical ever since the Reader team introduced social features into Google Reader. Now, rather than being a place where I can just go to ensure I’m getting the latest news from the blogs I want to subscribe to, as a traditional RSS Reader should be, I’m now stuck in a world with hundreds to thousands of shared items from friends, many of those repeat items, getting fed to me over and over again, even when I don’t want them! Add to that all the likes, comments, ability to post “status updates”, and more, it occurred to me today that Google Reader is no longer an RSS Reader – it is now a Social Network!
I wish Google Reader would just stick to what it’s good at – being an RSS Reader. I now need a place I can go just to get the news I want and don’t want to miss. Some say those days are gone, but it’s still a need for me. Today with the introduction of Buzz, Google Reader became useless to me. If I want to skim the news I can go to Buzz and get all the features of a social network. I don’t need Google Reader to do that for me. But when I just want to read the news I want, Google Reader has lost its use for me. Maybe some of this is the reason Google Reader’s former team lead just switched to the Youtube team?
I’m first to admit RSS is far from dead, though I think it’s time to find another RSS Reader. Should I just switch to Mail.app? Where can one go to get the news these days?