Now that Google Reader is going away, what’s next?

I’ve been busy in the last few days, ever since I logged into my Google reader and was efficiently warned that my window into your worlds is going to be demolished in a couple of months. Now, I’m a Google junkie. I was an early adopter of Google Search, Gmail and Google Calendar. I prefer Google Maps to any alternative. Chrome is my browser of choice. I loved my iGoogle start page (until they killed it.) I was a paid user at Picnik, the online photo editing service (until they killed that too.) I have dabbled in Picassa. I used Blogger for a while. I use Google Docs to work on collaborative projects. And I bought an Android phone.

google reader - no time

Once I find a brand that I like and trust, I am fiercely loyal, BUT, once a brand “improves” its way to dysfunction (Chrome) or breaks my trust, I hold a grudge. I didn’t even look at Currents.

When my shock and dismay wore off,  I embarked on a quest that quickly – and productively – spiraled completely out of control. (More on that another day.) After reading some suggestions for Reader replacements, and sampling a few products, I made my choice.

Turns out, NetVibes will not only do an admirable job replacing Reader, it also gives me a start page similar to iGoogle!

widget start page square

I guess, sometimes, forcible change is good for a blogger.

Everything I’ve mentioned is free. There is a paid version, for heavy-duty brand managers, that looks interesting too – but it’s pricey. As I was working to get things set up, I got a notice apologizing for any lag  on the site. Apparently, they are experiencing a large volumn of incoming new users. Imagine that.