Google's decision to retire their Reader program caused an initial stir in the online community and boiled over into the genealogical community. I was a long time user of Reader and enjoyed the convenience, but all in all, it was a pretty simple and straightforward app with few features. Sometimes simple is good and in this case it was free, available and worked.
Even before Google announced Reader's retirement, I had already investigated quite a few alternatives. It took me only a few minutes to decide on one of the best replacement candidates; Feedly.com.
But even considering I was able to find a replacement for a particular program, the underlying reason I will not miss Reader is that it was "just another program." Over the years I have used hundreds, perhaps thousands, of programs and most of them I have forgotten. Programs come and go, some faster than others. Some of the programs I am using today are hardly recognizable from their original versions such as the current versions of Microsoft Word and Adobe Photoshop when compared to their initial release versions. I always wonder if the same people who agonize over changing from on program to another have the same problems buying cars and appliances? Or clothes?
Having a reader or aggregator program is a convenience. If you don't have one, you don't miss it. If you do have one, you have a tendency to over subscribe to blogs and websites. If you are unfamiliar with the process of subscribing to a blog or website with an RSS feed or an Atom feed, then you can start with some of these links:
Simple Mom: Subscribing to Blogs 101 : the why, the how, & the where
About.com: Subscribing to a Blog - How to Subscribe to a Blog (Read Blog Feeds)
For example, if you wanted to subscribe to this blog, you would click the link at the top of the page to subscribe to the feeds or posts and add my blog to your reader's list. If you use Feedly.com, you simply click on the plus sign to add a blog or website and put in the URL (address). Feedly.com will then add any new posts to the list of new items it generates all day long every day. Since I subscribe to over 200 blogs and websites, I get quite a list everyday and I use the Feedly.com program to review the topics of each item to see if I want to open it and read it. That way, I only have to read what I am really interested in. I also don't miss any of the cute pictures from my family.
Simply put, one less program in the world doesn't make much difference. If there is a need for the function, someone else either has already written a replacement or there is already something better out there waiting to become popular.