There were a bunch of changes to Google Reader, which in my opinion left it a worse product overall.
They removed features I used, like the ability to share items to an RSS feed, which I used to use to build the “Posts From Other Blogs” list that was in my side-bar until today. They also killed off the statistics for individual feeds. (Or hid them very well, as I cannot find them.)
Of course, they did add features… but only if you use Google+.
But Google+ is still a “real names only” club. Pseudonyms are not allowed there, so that pretty much leaves me out. They might change the pseudonym thing at some distant future date, but currently the real name purists at Google hold sway.
When I was griping about Google+ not being integrated into the rest of the Google functions, I thought maybe they would make Google+ play nice with other functions, not break old functionality to integrate with Google+. Such is life at Google.
Anyway, the updated interface annoys me. A “fresh design” apparently means “Lots of white space like Google+,” a design philosophy that seems to rank functionality second. It isn’t so bad that I won’t get used to the font or the fact that it displays fewer items per page due to a layout that is really unpleasing to my eye.
But it annoys me enough that I want to explore alternatives for online RSS feed readers, and all the more so since the Google Reader team’s response to criticism seems to be, “Don’t like it? You’re free to take your data and fuck off.”
So what options are out there that compete with Google Reader?
Bloglines also looks like it might have potential… or is it just NetVibes with a different color scheme?
Addendum: I have seen a spike in views from Feedly, another web based RSS reader. Any feedback on that?
Who else uses something other than Google Reader?