Replacements for Google Reader

RIP-reader

R.I.P. Google Reader. We had some good times together, since 2005, which seems like just yesterday, if yesterday was eight years ago. But all things must end.

While I’m not entirely sold that the “mailbox” paradigm — where every news item is displayed as an email-like “unread item” — is one I want to stick with for my daily news reading, it’s without question that Reader is such a big part of my daily hunter/gatherer news reading routine that I will want to explore alternatives.

I’m ruling out native apps like Flipboard and Pulse, because I don’t want news reading tied to one specific platform. So, with that constraint in mind, here’s a list of web-based RSS-reading alternatives, listed in order of promise:

As they say, if you have any other potential contenders, leave a suggestion in the comments.

Make-Your-Own TechCrunch Article


It’s happened again:

has

the

because after seeing a private presentation, we couldn’t be more certain that they have just dropped

all over the

of their competition with the upcoming announcement of their secret

service. Industry insiders familiar with the product suggest that none other than

personally oversaw the development and creation of the revolutionary new product, and is rumored to unveil the new product live on stage during the upcoming

conference. Reaction to the upcoming announcement from around the TechCrunch offices has been

with one TechCrunch staffer quoted as saying,

Fake Mayor Podcast

From The Vaults: When I first started working at MassLive.com in 2007, producer par excellence Kristen Beam was putting together a very cool weekly podcast interviewing some of the local Western Massachusetts mayors. In order to check audio recording levels and network connectivity in Skype, she would call me first, and I would pretend to be a local mayor. She would test out her questions on me and I would do my absolute best to break her concentration and make her laugh.

Recently an excerpt from one of these test calls was discovered — enjoy.

QR codes are silly

We should make our devices smarter, not make reality dumber.

So QR codes are being heralded as the way for the print medium to reroute readers to more interactive and compelling Internet content. Questions:

  1. When has any medium ever successfully rerouted audience immediately to another medium? Think TV to radio, Internet to TV, movies to books, etc. It doesn’t happen. If your audience is currently engaged in a medium, it takes a large, large promise of payoff to entice an audience member to switch to another medium; and since by definition, the audience doesn’t know what lies on the other side of that QR code, it’s an unlikely mode switch at best. Once marketers start abusing QR codes, it will only get harder to entice people to give QR codes a shot.
  2. As of Apr. 2011, why doesn’t any smartphone OS ship with a QR reader? Too geeky, perhaps? Too hard to explain to Mom and Dad? Any technology that is physically ugly tends to be marginalized. And QR codes are seriously ugly.
  3. The most important physical object that might genuinely benefit from a QR code already has a scannable code on it: a UPC code. This code already works well as a scannable artifact in all kinds of existing apps today without any additional manufacturer effort. Why would a manufacturer put a QR code on as well?

QR codes are a technology looking for a purpose. They are the print industry equivalent of RSS feeds; appealing to a small number of geeks, but not useful (or explainable) enough to gain acceptance in a mass market. As the very astute Sebastiaan de With has said, QR Codes are a bad solution to make our world more understandable to devices. We should make our devices smarter, not make reality dumber.

Make-Your-Own Android Tablet Announcement


is proud to announce

availability for the new

tablet which is expected to pose strong competition to the Apple iPad. The tablet features

2-megapixel cameras on the front and back, and also features a superior

pixel resolution. Powered by Google’s new

operating system, the tablet poses a threat to the iPad primarily because of the device’s easily accessed

Enthusiasts of the new device gathered

to laud the many

available for download from

for the device at launch. The device is expected to cost

and will be available exclusively for purchase at

I’ve already lost Pintrest


Seriously? You want me to commit to curate 5 friggin’ pages for your site before I’ve even played with your service, Pintrest? You pover pestimate pyourselves.

I guess I’m pot the parget parket pere put pseriously, guys, nobody wants to curate five pages off the bat. Change up your initial screen or you are going to get bounce rates plike prazy.

~Jeff

P.S. Ditch “Books Worth Reading” entirely. No one likes to be reminded how few books we are reading these days.

Another Letter from Apple Regarding iPhone 4

Dear iPhone 4 Users,

In the coming days or weeks, your friends, or neighbors, and/or loved ones may send you links and articles from Engadget.com, Wired.com, or even from noted child-pornography trading hub Gizmodo.com, articles that suggest that there is some sort of reception problem with the iPhone 4. Not that we would ever suggest that our loyal customers side with Apple over their own (often unreliable) family members, but we would like to take a moment to correct many of these ignorant, misinformed and outright evil statements repeated in the media and by your family members.

Continue reading “Another Letter from Apple Regarding iPhone 4”