Scoble's Not Down With Google Reader Anymore – Why I Disagree With Him
Robert Scoble is a tech-geek who works for Rackspace and writes a highly respected/read blog. He is allegedly one of Google Reader’s heaviest (no, not his weight) users. Yesterday, he wrote an article on his blog articulating why he’s dumping Google Reader for Twitter Lists.
Scobleizer: Why I don’t use Google Reader Anymore
Here are his major points, and why I disagree:
1) Google Reader is Slow
No, Robert. Google Reader is slow for you. For the other 99.99% of users, Google Reader is as fast as we need it to be. These web 2.0 ultra-geeks are interesting to read, and their feedback is critical in moving technology forward at such a blistering pace. But as an average user, I always take their advice with a grain of salt. I’m never going to use but a fraction of the functionality of these tools. Ideally, I won’t spend 21 hours a day in front of my computer “tweeting” or reading other people’s “tweets”.
2) Google Reader’s UI is Confusing
Funny, but that’s the way I feel about Twitter. With my Google Reader, I can easily group content into folders. I go to one place and everything I want is right there. I don’t need any 3rd party apps such as Tweetdeck (major RAM hog, by the way). Twitter is information overload. Information overload can be okay but not when the vast majority of information out there is crap, such is the case with Twitter. The other thing I cannot stand about Twitter is that it requires you to leave the Twitter app to read the actual content. In Google Reader, I can read the entire article without opening a new browser window.
3) Google Reader Makes Scoble Feel Guilty
Apparently, when Google Reader tells Scoble he’s got 1,000 unread items it makes him feel guilty (Twitter doesn’t do that). Scoble, dude, you need help. I feel guilty when I think of starving kids in Africa or when I think of the homeless. Somehow, I’m able to get over the fact that I’m not going to be able to read every article that comes my way. This is a stupid objection from a pretty smart guy.
4) Google Reader’s Social Sharing Features Suck
I can only take this one from Scoble. Personally, I only belong to a few social networks: Facebook, Twitter, MyBlogLog, and Linked In. Of those four, I spend about 75% or more of that time on Facebook and Linked In. So, for me, Google Reader does the trick just fine. Oh, and by the way, I think the social sharing features within Google Reader kick ass. After all, it’s because of Bill Rice‘s shared Google Reader articles that I learned of Scobleizer’s article in the first place.
5) News Appears Faster on Twitter than on Google Reader
This is one of today’s more annoying trends, in my opinion. Why all a sudden is it so important that we get our news the instant it happens? Not long ago, we used to have to wait for the morning newspaper to see who won the Lakers game. Now, if we aren’t getting updates every 4 seconds we’re somehow missing something? Get a freaking life Scoble. There’s a big beautiful world out there. Turn off your computer for five minutes and take some of it in. Sheesh.
6) Headline Scanning Is Easier in Twitter Lists
I disagree wholeheartedly with this. Those hashtags and tiny URL’s make Twitter infinitely more difficult for me to decipher than within Google Reader. How is Twitter Lists easier?
7) Twitter Lists is more IPhone Friendly Than Google Reader
Maybe so, I don’t know. Again, my goal is to have some semblance of a life.
Twitter Lists is definitely cool. Finally, I am starting to see some value with Twitter – until now I’ve seen Twitter as a bunch of noise. But I’m not about to dump Google Reader, and for 99% of average web 2.0 users I think Google Reader is a better solution. Here’s a disclaimer though – Scoble is obviously 100x smarter than me, and it’s very likely that he’s seeing web 2.0 three or four steps ahead of the rest of us. But today – November 1, 2009 – I still think Google Reader is the most important web 2.0 application for novice to intermediate users. If you haven’t taken the plunge, here’s a quick article Mark Madsen wrote on the Top of Mind Blog a few months back:
Mark Madsen: How to Read 50 Articles in an Hour