In case you missed it, a black hole has opened just a few light years from the Earth and will swallow us whole in a matter of milliseconds. Or Google is closing Spartan RSS feed-eating machine “Google Reader” in June. Based on some recent articles, you’d expect those two events to be the one-in-the-same.
Folks ask: why are they killing off such a popular product? In summation, shareholders>consumers. Google has been pulling “unprofitable” products, pinching publishers on ad revenue (I don’t run them anymore), charging more for ads (Bah, eBook key words are astronomical!), and at first tried to milk Google Reader’s loyal group to move into a veritable ghost town: Google Plus. We refused. We still refuse. Now, many are migrating to other RSS readers.
I relied on Google Reader for years. However, when looking at my list of blogs in pre-preparation for a move and glancing at “unread” articles, I noticed something sad. Most of my favorite blogs have closed shop either indefinitely or infinito. Thus, why even bother moving RSS feeds that Here, I pay them homage.
The Run of Play rocked our world for several years. Brian’s mastery of the English language and mad XHTML skillz created delightful elixir of soccer writing goodness. He’s since marched on to Grantland. You can follow his RSS feed here.
Sport is a TV Show was everybody’s favorite blog. If Brian turned RoP into a visual feast, then Fredo’s minimalist blogspot home packed a hidden punch. Prose trumped aesthetics. However, HTML aside, the surrealist images were pretty awesome. Fredo now puts finger to keyboard for a similarly orange-and-blacked themed site The Classical.
Must Read Soccer was a novel idea: apply the Drudge Report to English-language soccer writing. Everyday, the editor aggregated the top stories of the day. I loved it – it was a candy story for cerebral footy fans. Ultimately, the site went into hibernation around 2011 and the editor even disappeared from twitter. He either got a life, or is dead. Maybe both. I hope for the first.
Pitch Invasion was the first positive online soccer experience for most folks older than 25. Back in the day, you would occasionally find a civil thread on Big Soccer, but intelligent discourse sorely lacked. Tom has since moved on to the excellent XI quarterly.
Richard Whittall’s A More Splendid Life was basically the Arcade Fire if they could pull off punk and cared about soccer. Richard spit controlled fire in all directions, and was never afraid to take on any target. Not surprisingly, like other bloggers he moved on to greener pastures and now edits The Score’s Footy Blog. Futfanatico’s greatest honor is being misidentified by UK feed aggregator “News Now” as AMSL. We still don this badge of accomplishment. Proudly.
I am surprised and saddened that Sigi Schmid’s tenure at Seattle has outlasted the “now in hiatus” Fake Sigi blog. Sig dabbled in a bit of parody, but his best post were vicious and relentless attacks on MLS, WPS, and online media marketing companies/strategies. In StarCraft terms, he was a Zergling all-star with little patience for the Protoss. Nobody knows if or when Sig will ever come back. He’s allegedly straightened out his personal life, though, so kudos.
I was a bit slow to catch onto Jason Davis’ Matchfit USA. Why? Well, the topics normally addressed – coaches, starting XI’s, and key players – brought back the bile from under-moderated US soccer threads in forums elsewhere. It wasn’t until I gave his old Podcasts a listen that I realized he and J. Rodious were voices of moderation – not just another pair of handsome talking heads. Jason now edits Kckrs and pods at The Best Soccer Show.
Fisted Away was a steady source of footy-related laughs for over two years. Rob and Nick churned out Onion-quality satire on a regular basis, and were kind enough to feature my writing. Of course, the site still has a post now and then, such as Rob’s hysterical “Gareth Barry Steps Out” article. I’m hoping a light will magically switch on and the site will return to weekly posting. Keep your fingers crossed!
A few other sites I love are on life support, so I didn’t want to name any names in order to preserve harmony and hope among family members. I respect you family’s privacy, but steer clear of Mirror reporters. Still, lots of great sites have been bought off or simply gotten bored. As for me, I probably will still find a Google Reader replacement. But things may never be the same…