#17: Google Reader and our dorky little group of Google Reader friends. Guys, you know I love the internet. We all do. Who wouldn't? Crazy people, that's who. But every once in a while even I feel...tired. Of the internet. It's all been there, done that, same old tweets, blog posts, and no, I don't need to see that damned video of that damned cat yet again.
What makes me excited about the internet time and time again? It's the potential for communities. I first experienced this with IRC back in high school, when we had an amazing Radiohead IRC chat room on #dalnet that turned into several real-life friendships (and mindblowing concert experiences). God, that might have been the nerdiest sentence I ever typed...anyways. Then I experienced it again when I first started a personal blog and met all sorts of wonderful people that way. Then again, with DCist. Then again, with Unfogged.com and their wonderful commenting community which turned into the Flophouse hosting two real-life internet parties (UnfoggedCons, as we called them).
And now? The same sort of thing is unfolding on Google Reader. Sure, it's a nice little RSS reader, but the value is really in the items that are shared by my friends and contacts, and the discussions that take place in the comment fields. They're fun, and often the highlight of my internet day. Jake and I were talking about lessons learned from "Up in the Air" the other day and he said something about how he thought George Clooney had the right strategy right from the beginning and we were talking about families and then, something something...and somewhere in this eloquent re-telling of this conversation he said that Google Reader was starting to feel like a family and so he might have to drop it (taking Clooney's isolation strategy to heart).
And it is! Our weird, dorky, good-link-sharing, inside-joke-loving, late-night-typo-filled-drunk-ranting family. Like.