A sprained ankle, and then food poisoning. The last three weeks have not been good to me. And then I resurface this morning, only to be hit by the news that Google Reader is dying.
Yeah, yeah, it’s been on life support for a while, but still. It’s much too soon, Google. I’m not ready to say goodbye.
I’m feeling the outrage in this CBC News blog post:
In what may be the most unpopular decision ever made by Google, the search juggernaut announced last night that it will be shutting down its popular RSS feed service, Google Reader, this summer.
Some are suggesting (and have been for years) that RSS is falling out of fashion thanks to the rise of news-reader apps like Flipboard, Pulse, and even Twitter.
And yet, Tweeters seem more outraged by the end of Google Reader than anyone else, suggesting that the hard, fast, simple style of RSS could never be replaced by social media platforms.
Wired points out that the end has been in sight for some time, and gives us a short history of this beloved (their word, though I agree) tool.
Reader gave users the ability to friend, follow and share stories with others. It let readers share stories with each other, and comment on them too. It became a place not just to read new stories, but to share and discuss them with friends. It was a discovery tool and a salon all in one.
The death of Google Reader reveals a problem of the modern Internet that many of us likely have in the back of our heads but are afraid to let surface: We are all participants in a user driven Internet, but we are still just the users, nothing more. No matter how much work we put in to optimize our online presences, our tools and our experiences, we are still at the mercy of big companies controlling the platforms we operate on. When they don’t like what’s happening, even if we do, they can make whatever call they want. And Wednesday night, Google made theirs.
Buzzfeed reveals that they get way way more traffic from Google Reader than from Google Plus.
But since we all have to move on, Mashable, Lifehacker, and the Buffer blog all have Google Reader alternatives for you. All of them recommend Feedly, and so does Nilesh, so that seems like a good option. I’m also tempted by the Old Reader, which apparently is just like old Google Reader!
Have you tried any of these other RSS readers? Are you sad about the death of Google Reader or couldn’t care less?
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