But comments? COMMENTS FROM MY FRIENDS ABOUT THINGS I’VE SHARED OR OTHER FRIENDS HAVE SHARED ARE REMARKABLE. EVERY TIME. EVERY. TIME. I will drop what I’m doing to read new comments in Reader.
Plus, Facebook, Twitter? It could give a shit less about what my friends say about other things. It wants me to know what they said about themselves, what they did today, what their relationship status is, what games they played today.
It’d rather ask me why I haven’t posted a photo of my cat to the internet lately, so Plus can get those usage numbers up and boast how much “content” people are creating. It’d rather ask what I ate for breakfast or if I’d like to tag something about #whattrendingstupidshita19yearoldwrotetoday so I can get REAL-TIME FIREHOSE OF UNCURATABLE RANDOMIZED SHIT UPDATES about it so it doesn’t have to make an effort to deal with content from which Google might not exclusively profit.
Fuck that! My friends are trying to have a goddamned discussion and you’re standing between us showing us photos of ourselves and trying to get us to talk about trending topics!
I COULD GIVE A SHIT LESS. MY FRIEND IS TALKING ABOUT SOMETHING I’M INTERESTED IN. SHUT THE FUCK UP.
One of the funny ha ha great things we say about the few dozen people who make up our group of friends on Reader is that we’re the Google Reader Party. But that’s a misnomer. A party is what Google Reader is. It’s us talking about awesome stuff.
“OH! OH WAIT! Plus has this Hangouts thing where” no you shut the fuck up right now.
I am old in internet terms. I am thirty years old. My friends are older. We work too much and decompress in weird ways, at weird times. I have trouble waking up before 9 a.m. Christine gets up at like 5 fucking o’clock a.m. Ashley goes to bed at 9 p.m. We don’t Hangout. We need something asynch.
We need something like… email.
Hey, my original point, there you are.
Google Reader is was the best asynchronous social network ever made. It’s the closest thing to a party that 25 people, all on totally different schedules, can swing.
“Now” didn’t matter. “Who” barely mattered. Sharing 3,000 items a month or 30? Didn’t matter.
Reader, somehow, some way, became the best possible way for people who can’t stand talking about themselves to communicate with each other.
Even if every Reader feature made it to Plus — and shit no they haven’t, and it doesn’t look like they will — the entire concept, culture and process is completely different. You can’t remotely replicate the closed, tight, context- and content-first communities of Reader in Plus. You can’t efficiently or effectively share, excerpt, annotate or discuss a 3,500-word longform news article on Plus alone without opening at least two other tabs.
You can’t sit back with a drink and catch up on discussions that don’t have to be carried on right fucking now or they’re gone forever in Plus.
Reader did it so, so well. It was an ugly motherfucker. It broke early and often, it never joined the API craze even as its never-documented and barely acknowledged reverse-engineered API went on to power who only knows how many web and mobile apps. It was held together for months, if not years, by one or two developers whose names are maybe even lost to history now.
Somebody else can swing in here and grab this niche now that Google’s flushed it. Not rolled it into Plus, but flushed it gone.
Or maybe everything will be perfect and fantastic! In which case someone at Google FOR GOD’S SAKE *WOULD YOU FUCKING HIRE SOMEONE TO COMMUNICATE THIS SHIT TO US WHO IS NOT A GODDAMNED DEVELOPER AND CAN SAY “PAGE WITH YOUR SHARED ITEMS ON IT” INSTEAD OF “LINK BLOG” I MEAN SERIOUSLY WHAT THE FUCK IS A “LINK BLOG” *