Why I switch services so often (why I don't use Google Reader anymore)

Terry Storch, over on Twitter, noticed I was slamming Google Reader and wrote “is it me…or did you go from Google Reader being the best thing in tech, to Google Reader sucks? Hot or Not with Scoble…”

Yes, two years ago I thought Google Reader was the best thing to come along for news freaks like me. Then they started adding features and messed it up.

See, teams can go off the rails.

How bad did they mess it up? My account, today, took 1 minute and 16 seconds to start up. This is a very common experience.

Why does it take so long to start up?

Because I have about 1,500 friends and the code that starts up is VERY POORLY DESIGNED.

Now, lots of people point out that I’m an exception. Joel Houseman, for instance, did just that. “I would point out that you are the exception. With my 150 feeds and 20-30 friends, it loads very fast and is snappy.”

The thing is, I’m an exception everywhere, right? But over on Twitter I have 12,128 friends and Twitter loads in less than a second. Over on FriendFeed I have more than 10,000 friends and it loads in less than a second. Over on Facebook I have about the same number of friends as I have on Google Reader and it opens in a second or two. Heck, even on FourSquare, a service that has not gone mainstream yet, I have more than 1,000 friends and it always opens fast.

So, yes, I loved Google Reader. Before they added crapily-written and crapily-designed code to it.

Now I hate it and never use it.

What does this mean for regular users? Maybe not much. BUT I remember the days when people like Joel used to make fun of me for being the first person to hit more than 1,000 friends on Twitter. Now that is very commonplace.

Keep that in mind if you are using Google Reader. Do NOT use its social networking features.

Oh, and I can’t figure out how to delete all my friends there so I can make it work again.

No biggie. Twitter has replaced Google Reader for me anyway. Howso?

Check out my Twitter list of Tech News Brands. This is far better than anything I ever had in Google Reader, even with thousands of RSS feeds coming in there.

And head over to Listorious.com. Twitter’s list feature has only been around a day and look at how many lists there already are. This is FAR FASTER GROWTH than Google Reader EVER saw. Especially among “normal” users. Did you notice how many celebrities are on Twitter but aren’t on Google Reader? There’s a reason for that.