Thursday, 14 March 2013

Google Reader is going ...

I may be a bit of a saddo (the truth is that am not a bit of a saddo, I am a full-blown one!), but one of the first things that I do most mornings is to open Google Reader and look at the writers of blogs that I follow have been doing. But I won't be able to do this much longer.

I almost missed the announcement that flitted before my eyes this morning. It stated that Google Reader would be no more as of 1st July, 2013 ... and my first reaction was that they had been hacked, and a spurious announcement had been added. So I checked ... and on the Google Official Blog I read the following:


Two points were particularly noteworthy from my point-of-view; Firstly that they stated that usage of Google Reader had declined (I cannot dispute that fact, although my individual usage has certainly not fallen) and secondly that Google was pouring all its resources into fewer products.

The latter statement rather surprised me ... and if I were a Google shareholder it might just begin to ring alarm bells. When companies make these sorts of announcements during a recession, it sometimes means that they are beginning to lose market share and are on the way down. I hope that this is not true ... but it makes you wonder whether or not one should begin to look around for alternatives to Google’s products. I already use Safari rather than Google or Google Chrome for most of my web browsing, and I have found Google Documents can be a bit 'clunky' at times, which is one reason why I have stopped using it to ‘host’ my most recent downloads.

More importantly, however, is working out how I can continue to keep up with the blogs I like to read. I am sure that I am not alone in feeling that I have been let down by Google ... and that I will be looking for a replacement for Google Reader in the very near future.

18 comments:

  1. I'm in the same boat as you. I read Reader several times a day, every day. I rely on it to keep on top of the 300+ blogs I follow. Only through Google Reader can I possibly hope to manage a reading list that big.

    I'm a self confessed Googlephile, but even I'm more than a little bit p*ssed at them this morning.

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  2. Lee Hadley,

    I am presently looking for an alternative RSS reader, and as I already have a Wordpress account I am considering using their reader ... assuming that it is not going to disappear as well.

    As far as I can make out it is possible to export the blogs you follow from Google Reader into alternative RSS readers, and I am going to give it a go.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  3. Bob,

    Thanks for the post. This was news to me until you mentioned it. I previously used Google Reader a lot, but I started reading the blogs I follow using the Blogger Dashboard (with the "Reading List" drop-down). You get the first couple of sentences and a picture - so not as ideal as Google Reader, but I got used to it and use it in preference now. Would that help?

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  4. Sidney Roundwood,

    Using Blogger Dashboard is a very viable alternative to Google Reader, and would certainly fit the bill. My only concern is that appears to rely upon Google Reader to work. (I may be totally wrong, but it does suggest using Google Reader to read the blogs you are following.)

    I am sure that we will all find a solution that suits us.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  5. I went with Feedly, currently it just draws from your Google Reader (and Syncs), but there is a promise that a new feature will allow it to completely grab and keep your Google Reader links before the reader deadline.

    The ironic kicker, or maybe great wargamer link, the new feature is called: Normandy.

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  6. Anthony,

    Thanks very much for the suggestion. Feedly is one of the possible options that I looked at, especially as it will work on my iPad without difficulty on my iPad and iPhone.

    I will give Wordpress a try, but may well us something like Feedly in the longer term.

    All the best,

    Bob

    PS. The name for the new feature is rather appropriate!

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  7. I tried Google reader a couple of times but confess I couldn't really get the hang of it which suggests I've missed something.

    Sometimes I use the dashboard list but usually I just use the list of recently updated favorites on my blog page and go to any of the blogs which appear to have something new of interest. Mind you, I make no attempt to follow 300 blogs.

    Hopefully you'll find something.

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  8. Ross Mac,

    I follow about sixty blogs, and Google Reader made this a simple task ... once I had set it up.

    I have now opted for Feedly, mainly because it will work on my iPad and iPhone as an app and with Safari (which I use instead of Internet Explorer).

    I originally listed all the blogs I followed in Favourites, but the list got too long to manage easily ... hence my decision to use Google Reader.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  9. It came as a bit of a shock to me too....

    I think you're right about Blogger dashboard; given Blogger is owned by Google it's hard to believe that feature won't disappear with Google Reader... fingers crossed they also don't end up thinking the same way about Blogger itself!

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  10. Terrible news. I've only been using Reader for a few months, but like Lee, it has been invaluable for me keeping up with the 180 or so blogs I'm following. I use Chrome, Blogger, Gmail, Google calendar, and I have a google web page as well. while I like that things are free I'm not always impressed by how poorly things integrate and the lack of follow up or help for known issues. Off to look for a new feed reader.

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  11. Steve-the-Wargamer,

    I think that Google shot themselves in the foot when they made this decision. I suspect that quite a few people who use lots of Google products will think twice about continuing to do so as a result. I know that I have.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  12. Sean,

    I think that there are quite a few people who are in the same boat ... and will be looking elsewhere for other providers of services they have previously used Google for.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  13. The reading list is what I use and it works for me.

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  14. Tradgardmastare,

    That makes a lot of sense ... but I am now a convert to Feedly, especially as it works so extremely well on my iPad.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  15. Hi Bob

    I use Thunderbird for email and rss feeds all in one place - works like a charm. Oh yes, and it's free, too.

    Hopefully also less likely to be dropped due to commercial expediency - both Yahoo and Google have shot themselves in the foot over the years as far as my opinion and experience goes.

    Regards

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  16. Arthur,

    I had not heard of Thunderbird before you mentioned it in your comment. It sounds like an excellent program.

    The problem with organisations like Yahoo and Google is that they seem to get obsessed with meeting/creating a need ... and then ignoring it.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  17. Bob.

    I have used Thunderbird as an email client and have set it up so that it synchronises with GMail, effectively giving me an off-line copy (and back-up) of all my emails. I would recommend it - especially at that price!

    I must admit that I haven't used its RSS feed functionality.

    Regards ... Steve

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  18. Steve,

    Thanks for the endorsement of Thunderbird.

    I am going to have a serious look at it as it seems to meet a lot of my needs in one package.

    All the best,

    Bob

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