I've transitioned over to Netvibes and I've been using it for a month or so. Here are the results:
- I've figured out how to manage things like deleting feeds and moving them around in the reader mode. So that previous criticism no longer applies.
- I find myself regularly frustrated with the reader interface. For example, if I want to open up an entry in a separate window there is this eeny tiny icon to use. If you miss it you expand the current entry. Which is okay but if you then close the entry the UI puts you back up at the top of the list-- not so much fun when you have a few hundred entries to work with.
- The back end of Netvibes is quite buggy. It's regularly pushing up as read things that I have already read, marked as read and marked as read again. Then, this morning, it took everything that was new and marked it as read without me ever having signed on to netvibes at all.
- There is still no good way to alphabetize a list in a category. That alone makes netvibes a lot harder to use.
So far, if Google Reader is a 10, Netvibes is a weak 5.
I know there are other readers out there. I'll be trying them.
I'm also hearing now that Google Alerts is broken. Some alerts are working and some aren't. I tend to use feeds to support my alerts instead of email-- I get more than enough email. It may be tied to the demise of Reader.
This may be a bigger problem than Reader and an ominous indicator out of Google. I had thought Blogger was next on the block but it may in fact be Alerts. Both Reader and Alerts are intimately connected with the whole concept of searching-- what Google made its original money on. If they're abandoning core functionality, what's next?
Getting an Alert replacement is going to be even more difficult. Most alert systems are tied intimately to social media and I'm not. I have a minuscule Facebook presence and don't use twitter. I don't like Facebook. I don't need Facebook. I don't trust Facebook. As far as I'm concerned the less Mark Zuckerberg knows about me, the better.