Thursday, March 14, 2013

Google Reader and Maps

Woke up to today to discover that Google is killing Reader. I'm shocked, dismayed, horrified -- and a little bit furious. 

Google Reader, if you don't know, is an RSS reader. I use it to follow (as of today) 137 blogs. My bookmarks toolbar has a Subscribe button, which is a javascript. Every time I stumble across a blog that looks interesting, I click the Subscribe button. When I want to read blogs, I use the Next button, also in my bookmarks toolbar, and it takes me to the next item in my feed. My internet experience isn't that I check out a few news sites in the morning and randomly look up a few bookmarked sites. Instead I look at information that is exactly tailored to my interests, blogs on writing and cooking, self-publishing and book reviews, some games and fan sites, mommy blogs and people that I just think are interesting. 

I used to use iGoogle for that purpose. I had a home page that was exactly what I wanted. And then Google decided to kill iGoogle. It took me months to get my web experience back to a place where it was comfortable. Losing iGoogle was like losing television -- or even more, like losing access to a telephone. I'd turn to a thing I needed, a basic tool that I took for granted, and it wasn't there anymore. Finally, finally, after months, I got settled into this new system with Reader. And now Google is killing Reader? 

Well, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times? Not going to happen. As far as I'm concerned, Google is now officially untrustworthy

Google's killing Reader?  Fine, I'm going to kill Google -- at least from my computer. 

That means saying goodbye to Google Chrome. Okay, I can use Firefox. Saying goodbye to Google Drive. No problem, I'll go back to Microsoft. Moving my blog -- that's okay, lots of people say that WordPress is better than blogger anyway. Giving up gmail means changing my email address in lots of places, but that's okay, too. Maybe I'll get my own domain with an email address or two included. I'm fine with giving up Google shopping: I usually wind up on Amazon in the end anyway, so no regrets there. I use Google Talk, but I've used other chat options, I can live without it. I've never liked Google + at all, so giving that up is not a problem.

Google, of course, has an assortment of other tools, but I can live without them, too. Google is not essential for anything, even search, except .... Google Maps. 

Which brings me back to the point of this post. I will be purging Google from my life in April. It's going to be a big project and I won't have time to tackle it until then. But when I do, how do I replace Google Maps? It's the one Google tool for which I can think of no substitute. Any ideas? 


  1. I was just as mad as you. So I'm trying feedly now and it's an acceptable substitute and will grow on me quickly, I think. The BEST thing about feedly at the moment is that they're taking advantage of google's fickleness and telling new users to press a button to sync feedly with reader. So you don't have to worry about loosing your subscriptions or the folders you made for them. Very user friendly. Would it work for you?

    1. I spent hours waiting for feedly to load over the last couple days. I think they're probably going to be in better shape to handle the influx in June, when they've had time to get used to the idea of thousands of new users.

      But I also found a site called Newsblur. ( Again, his servers are totally overloaded, but importing your info from google reader is easy-peasy and I really liked his interface.

      I suspect that two months from now it's going to be a lot easier to find workable solutions. And meanwhile, I've got a new blog, a new domain name, new email -- abandoning Google has been good for me!

    2. Great! Google is unlikely to feel the pinch just yet but if they keep disappointing users and blind-siding them like this, then sooner or later a more efficient competitor is going to sweep them all away. Dumbass.

  2. I've always preferred Mapquest for finding my way around. :)

  3. This is why I should really update my business cards! It took me forever to figure out where this reply was coming from. :) I think it's all in what you're used to--it's been 18 months since I switched to Firefox and it's so familiar now, it's like I've never used anything else.