Ask not for whom that bell tolls: Google Reader is officially dead. The web feed reader of choice for most of the Internet has been “sunsetted,” and in Google Reader’s place are a variety of alternatives, many of them built and developed in a rush to replace to it.
At this point, almost every tech site has offered up its choices for the best Reader alternatives, ranking some variation of Digg Reader, Feedly and Newsblur in the top slots. But what about the worst replacements for Google Reader? Here are our choices for the seven poorest alternatives to Google Reader, now that it’s gone for good:
1. Sitting in the dark of your study, hunched over your laptop, maniacally surfing from site to site, 24 hours a day, seven days a week: While an effective method for ensuring that you never miss new content, this is probably the most time-intensive alternative you can choose. Also, you should get some sunlight.
2. Hiring an “RSS Butler” to inform you each time a website updates: Employing a slightly balding, tuxedo-clad British man to enter your chambers and whisper in your ear about the latest BuzzFeed listicle might appeal to you; but not only is this a costly alternative (iOS/Android: $80,000 per year plus food and board), also most butlers walk much too slowly to be a realistic replacement for the instantaneous Google Reader.
3. Making regular phone calls to your favorite journalists to find out if they’ve published new articles: Most journalists prefer email, first of all, but also, we don’t have time for this. If you really dislike Feedly and Digg Reader, however, feel free to call me for granular updates on Yahoo News content on my cell at 646253784.
4. Candy Crush Saga: This is not a feed reader; it is a popular smartphone game in which you must match three identical kinds of candy in order to score points and proceed to the next level, similar to the game “Bejeweled.” If you are using Candy Crush Saga as a Google Reader alternative, you have seriously misfired.
5. Standing on a busy sidewalk and badgering passersby for information about website updates: “Hey buddy, you know if Matt Taibbi has a new column?” “Excuse me, Miss, did Matt Taibbi publish something new?” “You know if Taibbi wrote anything in the last couple hours?”
6. Karen - You think Karen can replace Google Reader? What does she have that Google Reader doesn’t? I can’t believe you. I hope you two are happy together.
7. Visiting google.com/reader over and over again in the vain hope that Google revives it: It’s gone, friend. And it is not coming back.
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