I use Google Reader like most RSS subscribers. But you know what? Tumblr’s better. (Added: I know Tumblr’s not a true RSS reader. Stick with me.) Here are five reasons:
No “unread” counts
I hate watching the number of unread items pile up until it hits “1000+.” Dave Winer thinks that’s the wrong way, too. It bugs me so much, I asked Aardvark for suggestions for a Google Reader-like without the unread count and got the reply “get over it.” Guess what Tumblr doesn’t have? I can start at the most recent and go until I start seeing stuff I’ve already seen or until I’m bored.
Everything gets mixed together
In both Google Reader and Tumblr, I subscribe to a huge range of things: politics, media, technology, funny, interesting, people I know. In Google Reader, even though I don’t have to, I segregate different stuff into different folders. But on Tumblr, that’s not even a possibility. So I’ll get some hilarious 4Chan joke right after photos of pelicans covered in BP’s oil. Believe me, way better than slogging through a bunch of tech blogs.
Commenting is just like blogging
When I pursue my feeds in Google Reader and something
pisses me off so much that I am forced to spew Internet-troll rage inspires me to respond, that comment is often buried in Google Reader. But on Tumblr, if I have something to say, I can hit the “reblog” button, write as much or as little as I’d like and publish it to a blog. My blog.
Subscribing isn’t a commitment
Even though it’s not, subscribing to a feed in Google Reader feels like a commitment; suddenly I’ve just added 10 more unread items and a new feed to to categorize and prioritize. But when I land on a Tumblr blog, I almost always subscribe. It’s not going to add a bunch of new unread items to my reader, I don’t have to figure out where it fits in my folder scheme. If the blog becomes bothersome, I can unsubscribe easily.
Everything’s a full feed
I never, ever have to leave Tumblr’s dashboard to read the rest of something, which streamlines my reading a lot.
I’d miss some of Google Reader’s functionality (e-mailing and saving items in Pinboard, for instance), but if I could move all my non-Tumblr feed to my Tumblr dashboard, I think I would.