July 1: Google Reader=Gone

It’s happening, like it or not, sign a petition or not, angrytweet it or not. Google Reader is being shut down by the Google powers that be. And the spokesperson for said powers is none other than Urs Hölzle, Senior VP of Technical Infrastructure. Sorry folks, its over come July 1.

We launched Google Reader in 2005 in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favorite websites. While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined. So, on July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader.

Here was literally my first thought from this morning as I formulated this article, and I quote. “Google has decided to shut down their popular Reader, an RSS host that lets users pull together feeds from different blogs to one spot. WHY?”

Google Reader

I can’t really answer the why for you, because I’m not Urs Hölzle, or Dan Cobley, or any of the other powers that be inside Google. And I’m still bummed it’s going, but lets head into flexible mode and do a quick synopsis and look to the future of RSS reader.

Synopsis

Google Reader was terrific, I found it one day, several years ago, just waiting to bring all the news of the interwebs to me as easy as pie. These early days were wonderful days, when I really had no clue why I wanted every tech blog in the world delivered to my virtual doorstep, but slowly I grew in knowledge and Google Reader stayed with me, through my multiple “spring cleanings” (yes, that’s pulling a line from Google’s blog post yesterday), and slowly I got the information I needed daily, and life was good.

Then Google decided it was time to refine their focus and clean house, sweeping Google Reader with it! NOOOOO!!!!

Sigh.

For me Google Reader was my entry into following people online and beginning to network with them, especially once I hit 2013. I FINALLY could get all those blog post into one place, and see them all, reading them at my leisure. This was a massive boom to my workflow, especially with how busy I stay day to day.

Life Happens

I was super ready to rant and rave about how awesome Google Reader is, soon to be was. How terrific the syncing features were between devices are, how few options there are because there are only so many other RSS readers…

…Cue-Large Quantities Of Other Options

Necessity is the mother of invention…or in this case, checking available options. I looked into other RSS readers, and found a ton. Here’s a few with links: Feedly, Pulse, Flipboard, FeedDemon and OldReader. I’ve only checked out two and I’ll admit, against what I was thinking originally, I’m impressed. Feedly especially really brings in some great swiping features that really make it smooth to use, and with a 4.7 inch display, makes reading them all visually awesome!

In Other Words, It’s Not Over!

Life will actually go on fairly normally. As I talk I have downloaded my Google Reader RSS feed into two separate RSS readers, which I will try over the next several days. So maybe Google was right, shutting down Google Reader might be the right decision. But I’ll still say this, I disagree with their reasoning. There might only be a dedicated “few” (I use few only in comparison to the masses that crowd the internet) that use Google Reader. But, I would argue that these few are the one’s who really utilize the internet, and need an RSS feed to stay actively involved. And by shutting down Google Reader, all they’ve done is open my eyes to other…better ways to get those RSS feeds into my computer/phone/tablet.

Personally Google, I would have tried to WOW that customer base with your own incredible RSS reader. But that’s a missed opportunity it looks like.

Goodbye Google Reader

What are your experiences with Google Reader?

Do you think Google is making the best call for their business?