Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Dear Google Reader,

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.)


Sue said...

I was so irritated about the disappearance of sharing too!!! Then, I noticed that Elizabeth Foss had a new sharing thingy on her blog, so I checked it out. Friend Feed is pretty cool once you get it set up, because it makes it really easy to share from any page, not just blogs that are in your reader. Check it out!

Pam Barnhill said...

I liked this so much I scrolled down to share it. Ah well. I am using Friend Feed too. Do you know if I can read your Tumbler via RSS?

Karen Edmisten said...

Hi, Sue!

Yes, you can use AddThis from any page on the web, too! I read so many different things, not just my Google Reader stuff, so that's important.

The thing I don't care for about FriendFeed is the way it fit (or rather, didn't fit very well) into my sidebar. It seemed kind of cluttered to me. But it must be working for others!

Karen Edmisten said...

Pam, you can sub. to it here:


Will you wear red to the funeral, too? We'll go dancing afterward.

Pam Barnhill said...

Not to change your mind about Tumblr, but I found after some poking about that you can take the FF logo off the widget box, change the width of the box, and choose not to include photos in the widget. That streamlined it for me.

OK, I must confess I am still reading with Google because it is all set up. Besides, what would I replace it with?

Loving your feed already. And I'm always up for dancing.

Karen Edmisten said...

Oh, I'm still READING loads of stuff with Google Reader -- just had to find a new way to share. Ack. It used to be so easy, with both the Share feature that was attached to each post, and -- what I missed the most -- the Share Bookmarklet that enabled one-click sharing not just from my Google Reader but from any spot on the web. That's what I really loved and missed.

Also, I may have missed something with FriendFeed, but don't you have to connect with people there? Doesn't that limit what you're sharing?

Kelly said...

Love this! I'll have to check out the AddThis and Tumblr. I'm using FriendFeed right now, though. As a matter of fact I've just shared you blog post with FriendFeed. :)

Oh, and I'll definitely be wearing red!

Pam Barnhill said...

FF has a bookmarklet too. Just click it and it add it to your Feed from anywhere on the web. In my case it puts it on my FF wall, but also on my blog widget.

For the feeds I read, I just subscribe to the people I want to "follow" and then I had the RSS feed of my FF homepage come to Reader. Easy peasy. It works like the old Google Buzz or whatever that thing was called -- people I connected with came to my Reader.

Ok, not complaining about your new shared items, but I thought you might want to know. When I click on your item in my feed it takes me to a new window in Tumblr (with your lovely picture), the only other thing on that page is the headline of that one thing you shared. Then I click on that and it opens another new window that goes to the original item. Very clunky compared to FF. With FF I click on the headline in Reader and it simply opens the content in Reader below the headline. Just thought you might want to know.

Karen Edmisten said...

Pam, you're dissing my new beloved! :)
I'm kidding ... I'm quite secure in our relationship.

A main goal for me was to find a new, easy way for people who visit my blog (rather than reading it on a reader) to see the things I'm sharing.

I wasn't really using Google Buzz at all, but your comments (and your request for the RSS feed of my Tumblr items) made me think that I want people to be able to easily sub to those, too, so thanks!

Pam Barnhill said...

Got ya! I'm in anyway no matter what you use.

Karen Edmisten said...

"For the feeds I read, I just subscribe to the people I want to "follow" and then I had the RSS feed of my FF homepage come to Reader. Easy peasy."

Ooh, yes -- gotcha on this, too. That makes sense!

Melissa Wiley said...

Hooray! A new way to follow Karen's shares! Order is being restored to my universe.

I subbed to your Tumblr so now I can read you in my sadly diminished Reader. You may have mentioned this in a comment, but did you know you can set up the "Send to" section of Reader to let you share to Tumblr without leaving Reader? You have to set it up via the gear icon & then the Send-to tab. I've got mine set up to send to Diigo (which I prefer for my blog sidebar), Tumblr, Twitter, FB--whichever platform I wish to send to at a given moment.

tanita davis said...

I've been following what Melissa is doing - this is a great idea, too. I really want to kick Reader for moving my share button!!!

Sara said...

aaargh. I'm just mad and don't want to spend time figuring out how to share or who to follow!

Kimberlee said...

Thank you so much Karen! Not only for the delightfully witty summary of Share-less angst, but for the solution. I've been hoping for someone to just Tell Me What To Do, and you explained it all so nicely!

Pam Barnhill said...

The "clunkiness" is fixed on your shares now. Whatever you did fixed it!