Goodbye Google Reader

It’s a sad day for the blogging community; Google Reader has shut down.

As someone who follows way too many blogs, an RSS reader is essential for me. I’ve switched to Feedly, which is great, but as a Google Reader user since 2007, I’m more than a little sad to see it go.

However, as part of the switch to Feedly, I’ve dug through and purged most of the posts I’d starred and tagged in Reader, keeping only a few that have left a lasting impression on my life. Since you might enjoy these as well, here are seven of my favourite blog posts from the past five years:

1. The Office According to The Office

This is an excellent study of the modern corporation, explained entirely by referencing characters and situations from the first few seasons of the TV show, The Office. If business was always taught this well, we’d all have MBAs.

2. How to Give a Kick-Ass Presentation with a Hangover

This was written by a veteran conference organizer, and it’s a list of 60 or so tips for speaking at conferences. I’ve read it before every important talk I’ve ever given (including my talks at SenchaCon and OSCON), and it’s helped me enormously each time.

3. Halfway

I’ve mentioned this post before. The irony of posting it on July 1st — again — is not lost on me.

4. Why Aren’t you Really Good at Graphic Design?

A reminder that the internet changed everything, and all skills are learnable.

5. Overnight Success

Don’t worry about the post, just watch the minute-long video. It’s probably the most motivating video I’ve ever seen, and I watch it anytime I feel like I’m half-assing some part of my work, to remind myself that sometimes you have to stop playing video games for a while if you really want to build something great.

6. On Craft

This is a post about changing jobs. The bit about craftsmanship in the first few paragraphs is exquisitely written, and I take from it whenever I need to explain software development to anyone.

7. Me, but you, but me

Beautiful writing from the legendary Mark Pilgrim. Proof that you can be both a fantastic programmer and a fantastic writer.

I hope this makes up for publishing so few of my own posts over the past year and a half. I don’t think I’ll ever get back to a weekly scheduled, but I’ll do better going forward than I have recently. Many of the posts above weren’t written by professional bloggers, and the thought that I could someday write something that would reach someone the way these posts reached me… well, it’s something I’d like to start working towards, again.

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