Google announced about a week ago that they were going to change the way that Google Reader looked and the way that social sharing was done. I am all for a consistent user experience, and any update has to be better than some of the poor design that Google has had in the past1, but a weeks notice is not very accommodating for people who have used Google Reader for years to manage their content and sharing.
Courtney at Kirby Bits explained very well why the change in social was a bad move on Google’s part and having logged into Google Reader this morning, I can’t agree more. After Brent Simmon’s warning about Google Reader syncing for apps 2, I switched back to Fever°. It hasn’t been easy, I missed a lot of my coworker’s shared posts. Previously when I had been on Fever°, I piped my coworker’s Google Reader Shared items RSS to Tumblr and subscribed to that RSS feed. Sure it wasn’t real time, but it worked to aggregate their shared content.
Now, it is all broken. Google is forcing sharing by either Google+ or email. I see Google+ as an island that I have to row out to see content. There is not a good way to get Google+ content into RSS3. I am not an avid Google+ user, frankly, I see it to be little to no value. So, either I make my regular weekly trips to the Google+ island, like I do with Facebook, or I try and convince all of my friends to create Posterous accounts and share their favorite content by email4.