(Sorry people, because here comes a long entry (at least for tumblr standards). I never did this and probably will never do again, so sit tight and read.)
Here on tumblr, people know me for the crude images, juvenile humor, bad temper and whatever this awful blog is about. But I’m feeling like I must step a little out of character and say a couple of things.
All of you probably (at very least the majority of you) aren’t aware of the best thing on the internet. The best site, the best social network, the best sharing device, the one and only place really worth of “being apart”. It’s not Tumblr. It’s not 4Chan. Definitely it’s not Facebook.
Since 2005, and until this day, there was a crazy little thing called “Google Reader”. You might be familiar with the name; It’s the name that inspired this blog title. I pretty much loved it. Now, after some utterly dumb decisions from Google, the service is now changed at the point of being unrecognizable.
To make things simpler, I will explain very briefly what it was: It’s the internet. Your internet. How you wanted to see it. How you wanted to experience it.
Doesn’t sound amazing for you? Fair enough. Now I will say why it is the highest achievement on internet matters:
It has a sharing system.
“Facebook has it”, you may say.
No, I answer.
What Facebook has, and Google is trying to copy, is an “imposition system”. Things you don’t care about, irrelevant acquaintances vacation photos, relatives stupid opinions, yadda yadda, that are thrown on your face like acid, and all you can do is trying the best to ignore and move on with your life. Imposition.
And even when you try to actually share something you still have to deal with the worst problem with any platform. Humans.
All Facebook and other similar sites wants it’s the highest number of humans possible. That’s why they check if you are not a robot.
That’s the problem. Humans do not understand, are unreasonable, annoying, biased, incapable of discuss 3 lines of text without getting flamed and bring Jesus, Hitler, Veganism or whatever they believe with all their presumption to the field. Doesn’t matter if it’s not even applies. They just do. And the worst sin: they don’t have any sense of humor.
Which brings us back to Google Reader.
There weren’t any humans on the site. We were PEOPLE. A real community. A haven where we could really share things, not impose, and talk about them, discover new sites, new blogs, new people, laugh. Grow our internet network together. And whenever some “human” mistakenly makes its way into a thread, we backed up which other. We would repeal him with the most simple, and yet effective, weapon: plain old sarcasm. We were many. We had the power. After years, 6 to be more exact, we became more than friends. We became one. Sounds hippie, I know, but we were not trying to change the world. Just protecting our own.
Sadly, Google gave up their old motto “Don’t be evil” for something more appropriated to the huge corporation they are now and a few advertising bucks. And in the urge of inflating even more the already overpopulated, but soulless, Google+, they killed Google Reader. They killed us.
Some are trying to build up a system for us again. Has potential, could even be better. But what saddens me most it’s this uncalled move from Google it’s the last proof that we will always be hiding on the shadows, that we just can’t afford to not be part of the masses. We can’t fit and will always pay for it. Pay it with our freedom. It’s the victory of Idiocracy. The better for them, the worst for us.
Goodbye, Google Reader, and thank you for all.
(song: Pink Floyd- Wish You Were Here)
UPDATE: Yesterday (March 13, 2013), the ever misguided creature that Google became announced that it will be shutting off Google Reader for good. Off course that I’m sad. but this time I can’t really say I wasn’t expecting it. I always knew that this day would come and actually I’m impressed it took this long.
When Google killed the social functionality they pretty much crippled Google Reader from what it did best. Now it was just a empty husk that still was used because we got stuck to it. For what it does now, reading feeds, there are better alternatives out there.
What will never be mimicked quite as well is the sense of citizenship, sharing, the overall fun and seriousness from a vivid community that everyday, for hours long, got together in the service.
Seeing Google Reader go now is like going to your childhood neighborhood and knowing they’re building a Starbucks on the site of a playground you used to go. Suddenly your mind is flooded from fond memories. The time you won a tag game. The time that you cut a finger and saw your blood for the first time.
The time when you met someone you just knew you had to be at her side at all times even if you didn’t quitely know why.
You see the site where this memories took place, and it’s gone. Gone because some meaningless reason that doesn’t matter. You feel that nobody else gives to that place the appropriate respect it deserves. Worst, the company that created, built, and run the thing for years don’t have the respect. A sad reminder that the times are always changing, more than often for the worst.
PS: Sorry for the broken English. I’m used to write one or two sentences. I tried my best. Don’t be shy to correct me.
PS²: The reason Google gave for killing completely the Reader deserves an article of it’s own, but I’m not the right person to write it. Instead, I will just give a piece of advice, for what it’s worth, from a person that spends more time on the internet than in the real life: Get your shit together Google.
PSVita: It’s a bullshit handheld console, don’t spend your money on it.