Tuesday, November 08, 2011
I don't even know where to begin.
We had a great thing going. Oh, sure, I know you had the same thing with just-about-everyone-else-on-the-internet, but that was okay with me. Actually, that was kind of the point. Sharing. Y'know? It was everything to me. How could you have missed that our relationship was all about the sharing? You never really listened to me, did you?
When you went through this mid-life redesign and pulled the plug on the Share feature, I was, to put it mildly, shocked. It took days just to get over the denial. ("You aren't really doing this. Tell me you're not doing this. If I just pretend you're not doing this, you'll come to your senses Won't you?")
Then there was the anger ("You will not do this! I will not allow this! You do not even understand what you're doing, do you?! Google, are you listening to me? I will not be ignored, Google!" )
Then came the bargaining. ("C'mon, G., I mean, c'mon. Let's just go back to the way it used to be. We were a team, an effortless waltz, can't you see that? I'll dump Facebook for good. Really. Totally. I'll never click a Like button again, and I'll tell everyone I've ever met about Google+ if you'll just give me back the Share bookmarklet. Please?")
You know what came next, right? And you know that you caused it. Yeah. The depression. Don 't deny your culpability here. I couldn't even blog about it -- every key stroke was too much effort. What was there to say, anyway? It was pointless. You weren't coming back and my life was forever altered. I had to learn a new way of being.
And finally? Acceptance.Yeah, I made it. I get it. You don't really care about my needs. I've moved on.
And now I'm going to share with my friends how I moved on, and how they can, too. First, I have to thank Lissa, who was (you cad) more heartbroken than I was. She suggested the Tumblr part of this idea, and for that, I must thank her. Her empathetic blog posts about our messy relationship were a salve for my denying, angry, bargaining, depressed self.
But (hey, I'm no longer bitter) back to what I did:
I already had AddThis on my browser. If you don't have it, it's quick and easy to add -- an effortless way to email links, send them to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.
Then, I followed up on Lissa's idea about Tumblr for links. I quickly and easily set up a Tumblr page: My Shared Stuff.
Then I went to the Tumblr Goodies page (just scroll down to "Embed your blog") and found the code to add to my sidebar so that you can now see my shared items from Tumblr here. (See over there? In my left sidebar? Under "What I'm Reading"? That's where you used to be, Google Share.)
Now, all I have to do to fling anything from the web far and wide (all the places we used to go together, Google) is click on my AddThis button, click on my Tumblr button, and -- Ta-da! -- I'm a new woman.
(And, actually, it's even quicker than that -- on the Tumblr Goodies page, I found, right at the top, a "Share on Tumblr" bookmarklet. Just drag that to your bookmark bar and you'll be sharing in one click. You can skip AddThis altogether.)
It's a whole new relationship and I'm kind of walking on air here.
Oh, and as for you, Google Shared Items?
I'm going to wear red to your funeral.
Updated to add a quick clarification:
I have not dumped Google Reader for reading, subscribing, staying current with favorite blogs, etc. I do not want to bother with a new reader, new subscription set-up, etc. That's too much trouble and work. (Although, I did go ahead and set up a FriendFeed account, if that makes it easier for anyone else to share posts, etc. Still haven't fully investigated FriendFeed, though -- just an FYI.)
What I truly missed was an easy way to share an item from either a blog I'm already subscribed to, or from a random page I happened to land on. That's what Google Reader's universal Share bookmark allowed -- sharing from any page without first subscribing to it. That's the biggest convenience lost through this change.
Embedding Tumblr on my blog has resurrected that ability. I can now use either "Add This" or "Share on Tumblr" to share anything at all, subbed or not, and it will end up both on my blog and on my Tumblr page (which can also be subbed to via a feed.)
(Photo thanks to Stock.xchng.)