Google Reader Diaspora
October 31, 2011 3:32 PM   Subscribe

Google Reader's social features just went dark. I'm distraught. What are my alternatives?

Google Plus doesn't work, since for many of us, it's blocked at work. We can still read our feeds, but how can we share? Can we use the "Send To" feature to somehow funnel everything to a shared blog, which we then can all subscribe to via RSS? And what about commenting?

I'm seriously in tears over this. Hope me, MeFi.
posted by kidsleepy to Computers & Internet (19 answers total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
There will be greasemoney scripts that add back all those features. Just give it a week or so. Check daily.
posted by blue_beetle at 3:42 PM on October 31, 2011 [2 favorites]

You might be able to do something with Ifttt. Maybe sync favourites to a delicious account or something similar.
posted by backwards guitar at 3:46 PM on October 31, 2011 [2 favorites]

These guys are building an exact copy of the old Google Reader.
posted by blue_beetle at 3:49 PM on October 31, 2011 [11 favorites]

I've set up a Tumblr blog and am using if this then that to feed content to it. I'll be adding the stuff I find in Reader to it through the "Send To" links.

You can set up multi-user blogs in Tumblr, so if your current sharing setup is a small, close group, that might be a good option. I believe they allow setting up Disqus for commenting as well.
posted by duien at 3:57 PM on October 31, 2011

Yeah, it's a total shambles. Reader was a great social network. I joined Findings, which is in many ways my ideal social network, but I know of only one other person using it.
posted by Kattullus at 3:59 PM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

To clarify, Findings isn't an RSS aggregator, but it functions much like now-defunct Reader bookmarklet, allowing you to share quotes from webpages and e-books with a circle of followers. It links to the webpage.
posted by Kattullus at 4:01 PM on October 31, 2011

Newsblur is quite good if you want to leave Reader and only want outgoing sharing. Or stay with Reader and use the Feedly interface for social-izing.
posted by quarterframer at 4:10 PM on October 31, 2011

If it's just the redesign that's got you down, give it a week or two and there will likely be plenty of Greasemonkey scripts rolling back the change. The new scheme is actually very similar to an old script called Helvetireader, so major alterations to the interface through scripts is definitely possible. I wouldn't be surprised if some integrated with that Sharebros project, to complete the restoration.
posted by Rhaomi at 4:24 PM on October 31, 2011

Seconding ifttt. It's a simple IF this THEN that (as the name suggests) that works really well. I'm not sure if it is setup for the "new" Google Reader yet, though.
posted by asnider at 5:00 PM on October 31, 2011

Another way: Create an Evernote account.

Give everybody in your group the password. Add the Send to Evernote plug-in.
posted by vecchio at 5:17 PM on October 31, 2011

I created a delicious stack with as many alternatives I could find. None really replace the social sharing aspect but I'm keeping my eye on HiveMined.
posted by Edame at 5:46 PM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

Could you send items to a shared Instapaper account? It worked with Google Reader before, and I'd hope it still does (although Google's botched this kind of thing before, so y'know.)
posted by dekathelon at 6:47 PM on October 31, 2011

If it's just the redesign that's got you down, give it a week or two and there will likely be plenty of Greasemonkey scripts rolling back the change.

Ah, that's what I'm hoping for. I don't care about the social stuff but I want my nice compact view back, not this too much whitespace crap.
posted by kmz at 7:49 PM on October 31, 2011

I've been sending all my reddit links to Tumblr using ifttt. It might not be a bad idea to do the sharing that way and use Disqus, as duien has suggested.
posted by reenum at 8:49 PM on October 31, 2011

It's a slightly more manual process, but I share my good Reader links (and other stuff) in Pinboard. Others can then subscribe to that RSS feed in Reader if they want an integrated experience. You have to use bookmarklets / extensions to add the link from Google Reader. If you use a third party app like Reeder it's a one click share.
posted by Nelson at 6:43 AM on November 1, 2011

I hate the extra whitespace too, so here's what I did as a temporary solution until somebody Greasemonkeys up a better one. It's for Firefox, but I bet you could make it work on other browsers too.

1. Create a userContent.css file in your profile's chrome directory
2. Add these lines:
#top-bar {display: none}
#viewer-header {display:none}
#lhn-add-subscription-section {display:none}
3. Save and relaunch your browser.

That should get rid of the gigantic annoyance that is the top part of the new Reader layout. It's still ugly as sin but it's at least somewhat more tolerable now.
posted by roosterboy at 11:18 AM on November 1, 2011

Just found this (for Chrome browser only): Google Reader Rectifier which claims to make the layout a bit nicer. Doesn't bring back the social features, though.
posted by moonmilk at 11:51 AM on November 1, 2011

#top-bar {display: none}
#viewer-header {display:none}
#lhn-add-subscription-section {display:none}

Ah, why didn't I think of this? Why wait for others when I can do this myself... Those changes are nice, but I was actually bothered more by the giant spacing in the list view. This is a crude version to get the spacing back like it was:

padding-bottom:2px !important;
padding-top:2px !important;
margin-top: 0 !important;
border-top: 0 !important;
font-size: 13px !important;
line-height: 15px !important;
height: 16px !important;

It's not perfect. The text is a bit unbalanced vertically, and I haven't figure out how to fix it. Hopefully somebody better with CSS can help out. But it's already way better. Now to hack up a version for GMail before that's changed too...
posted by kmz at 2:23 PM on November 1, 2011

And oh, this was tested in Opera. Other browsers' mileage may vary.
posted by kmz at 2:23 PM on November 1, 2011

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