Those of us with old-school, multiple-paragraph blogs are starting to feel like fax machine salesmen in an age of short-form social media, Tumblrs, robust content-filtering smartphone apps and the like. The fact that you're reading this, however, means you're still "keeping the faith" in some small way. Me, I've been an active blogger since 2003, and one of the best presents we bloggers ever got during the past ten years was the free RSS aggregation service that Google launched in 2005 called Google Reader.
Despite always being a bit clunky, and not particularly easy on the eyes, Google Reader became easier and easier to use and more of an essential tool for consuming content over the years. For many of us, writers and readers alike, it was a singular go-to place for the many blogs we'd want to read and follow, without having the click on sidebar links or home page bookmarks, the method I used to consume content in the pre-Reader era. Everything I'd want to read, every day, was aggregated in the same place. With Reader, there were some sites whose true www. home pages I never actually saw at all. I'd only get their content in Reader when they updated, and if they didn't update, they were dead to me. For those of us who write blogs, it meant a cadre of readers who'd stay with you and could easily see your blatherings every time they logged into Reader. The only way they'd "leave" you is if they actively unsubscribed. I'm pretty sure that well over half of the readers of this and my other blogs have actually been reading it on Google Reader, and not directly at www.hedonistjive.com or www.beersamizdat.net.
Now they're pulling the plug on July 1st, as you may have heard. They've got their reasons. It's in my own self-interest to help find you an alternative, and I've done that. Well, there are many alternatives, so let me tell you the most "Reader-like" one out there, and my preferred choice for the content I myself consume, is FEEDLY. You'll need to use it through the Chrome browser on desktop computers, but that's OK, because Chrome's the best, right? (Note: looks like it's available for Firefox too). There's also an Android and an iOS app for FEEDLY, and it's a great one. I'll wait here while you go set those up.
Done? OK. There are two other places to find The Hedonist Jive content without having to come to the blog itself. I've got this new Flipboard magazine called, you got it, The Hedonist Jive. I'm "flipping" all the articles/posts I write, as well as those of many more talented and interesting people, into this mobile- and tablet-only magazine. If you haven't used Flipboard yet, you gotta do it. It's extremely well-designed, and its success actually helped lead to the demise of Google Reader. So like the true rebellious nonconformist I am, "join 'em", I say. Oh, and have you heard of Twitter? I maintain a presence over there as well, and you can follow the Hedonist Jive "Twitter stream" if you'd like.
Apologies for the vainglorious post, but I'd like to keep you reading my navel-gazing narcissism for another few months if I can.