Home > Misc., Site > No Google Reader for YOU!

No Google Reader for YOU!

Yesterday when I went to read my RSS feed, I got the same popup most other users of Google Reader got: the service is going away in a few months, apparently for lack of users.

Which is mildly ironic. I have a blog, a lot of people I know have blogs (which is how I got to know them) and a pretty large proportion of us seem to use G-Reader to keep track of each other’s posts. According to one article I read yesterday – I didn’t bookmark it and can’t find it now, so you’ll have to take this on faith – RSS feeds are for nerds and nerds don’t need dedicated stuff because they can find other ways to do what they need. And they’re nerds, so they can suck it up. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, direct RSS feeds aren’t “sexy”, apparently. Ah, right. I never realised that what I want from my software is sexiness.

The author did have a point. RSS is kinda nerdy and there was no easy way to explain what Google Reader does. Or did. But just because something isn’t easy to explain (or grasp) doesn’t mean it’s useless or that it shouldn’t be used. If that’s the equation we’re making today, then it’s not just MMOs that are dumbing down.

Anyway, I’ve been looking for alternatives. A friend kindly pointed me in the direction of Feedly, so I’m trying them out first. They were slammed yesterday but seem to be doing a little better this morning. I have to say, I do kinda like the magazine-like presentation. I could like this service. And if not, there will be others out there.

Because if there aren’t, I’m not going to be reading very many more blogs. It may work for some, but I cannot and will not use Facebook and Twitter to keep track of what 100+ people post and when. Yech. I want my feed to be there when I need it, and I don’t want to have to ‘llike’ a bunch of FB pages and trawl through my timeline.

If you ask me, it had nothing to do with popularity, or not directly. Ultimately Google Reader went away because it couldn’t be monetized.

Categories: Misc., Site Tags: , ,
  1. March 14, 2013 at 8:44 am | #1

    Newsblur, albeit a bit broken due to the influx of users, appears to be a similar experience to gReader, plus many of the social goodies that Google never bothered with.

  2. March 14, 2013 at 8:48 am | #2

    Twitter and Facebook, and Google+ are like apples and oranges compared to Reader, they do different jobs.

    I follow about 400 people on Twitter which means I miss about 90% of what people tweet, it’s not designed for that persistence that a feed reader provides. Same with Facebook, but to a lesser extent.

    RSS is for tracking what people write about. Twitter and FB is for the status update kind of writing. Not the same thing.

    I’m kind of pissed at Google at the moment. To the point of dumping the account entirely, or I would if I could find a comparable analytics service.

    I’m also kind of ranty at the moment. My apologies. I guess it’s because I’m closing in on 1:30am. Eeek!

  3. cthulhu57
    March 14, 2013 at 10:34 am | #3

    Well, it could have been monetized — ads in the feed, a subscription fee, sell it on Play for 1.99… It apparently wasn’t WORTH monetizing… I think they are just trying to force us to Google+ which is NOT a newsreader… I personally did not care when the “social” aspects of Reader went away — I used it as a newsreader… I’ve looked at totally.me today — not liking the “Pintarest” feel for news. It works for pictures, but, attractive as it is, it is not “readable”.

    • March 14, 2013 at 12:10 pm | #4

      Good point, actually. I might pay (though not much) to have a dedicated reader. I don’t want social crap, I just want to be able to read a list of feeds determined by me. Not status updates, not promos, not shares, not likes. Just other people’s BLOG POSTS.

      It’s not rocket science, but apparently it’s also not worth making the effort for. :(

  4. March 14, 2013 at 2:06 pm | #5

    I’ve been collecting alternatives on Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/104424702290149874363/posts/iqPHy6XrtS1 Sadly, most of the alternatives seem to be pounded right now. I’m taking a look at http://www.theoldreader.com/, but due to traffic you can’t import your feeds yet and others have been reporting its slow.

    Yeah, the logic here boggles me. I read an article that basically said, “It’s not growing, so it’s not worth supporting.” I’m not sure they’re trying to “force” people to Google+, because there are a number of alternatives out there. And, I think people are just as likely to go to Facebook if they decide to stop reading blogs (hah).

    Anyway, imagine the distorted sense of scale where millions of users aren’t worth supporting anymore, to the point where people are crashing other services looking for alternatives.

  5. March 14, 2013 at 2:53 pm | #6

    I would certainly been willing to pay for Google Reader if they had bothered with it – a simple efficient text interface that did what was needed and available through the browser.

    Same as others here, I do not need all the social network connectivity stuff and I do not need all kinds of bling-bling around it.

  6. Syl
    March 14, 2013 at 7:07 pm | #7

    Jup, that’s how it is – Google only supports where adsense etc. can be leveraged on. Blogger is next up, I am sure. They left that alone for too long now. WP here I come. They should offer their own reader.

  7. March 14, 2013 at 8:14 pm | #8

    Actually they kind of do, you can follow blogs right from the WP dashboard. Good point, I should look into that – though it’s probably only WP blogs.

    I started out at Blogger years ago and hated the interface and functionality. Still do, though now I only have to wade through its terrible comment interface when commenting on other people’s blogs. :P

  8. Harlequin
    March 15, 2013 at 4:18 am | #9

    I use my Google Reader daily, since its the best way I know to keep track of the blogs I follow, AND ironically also the Youtube channels I’m subscribed to. Not a fan of the Youtube interface “updates”. I can’t imagine exchanging Reader for Facebook/Twitter.

  9. Calbry
    March 27, 2013 at 12:46 pm | #10

    > … there was no easy way to explain what Google Reader does. <

    Small point:

    I've heard this repeated a few times as various people seem to suggest that RSS and Google Reader are some arcane tech only genius' can figure out.

    And it baffles me.

    Why would anyone take think Google Reader is hard to explain? Seems almost like deliberate misinformation, and a shame to see it parroted so widely.

    How's this:

    'RSS lets you "subscribe" to websites you like so that copies of new articles they add are automatically delivered to you via an RSS reader like Google Reader. Instead of visiting dozens (or hundreds) of websites again and again to see what's new, all their new articles appear in Google Reader automatically. You can then read them or click on any story to jump to the associated website.'

    Seems very easy to explain.

    And the value proposition seems blatantly obvious (and totally different from the mouth-to-the-firehose approach of things like Twitter).

  10. May 2, 2013 at 7:56 am | #11

    Take a look here – http://theoldreader.com as recommended by Stropp. Looks much like the old google reader.

  11. Alberto J. Mason
    June 9, 2013 at 2:24 pm | #12

    Which is mildly ironic. I have a blog, a lot of people I know have blogs (which is how I got to know them) and a pretty large proportion of us seem to use G-Reader to keep track of each other’s posts. According to one article I read yesterday – I didn’t bookmark it and can’t find it now, so you’ll have to take this on faith – RSS feeds are for nerds and nerds don’t need dedicated stuff because they can find other ways to do what they need. And they’re nerds, so they can suck it up. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, direct RSS feeds aren’t “sexy”, apparently. Ah, right. I never realised that what I want from my software is sexiness.

  1. April 3, 2013 at 3:44 pm | #1

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