Mink Machine

The death of Google Reader

A short time after the shut down of WaSP, it was announced today that Google Reader will be closed on July 1, 2013. While there are replacements available for the RSS reader itself, I can’t help but thinking at the larger picture. Is RSS dead?

RSS readers are an essential tool to keep up with blogs and news at a glance, without having to visit the sites themselves. Since this has a negative impact on ads, many authors tries to lure their visitors to their sites by only posting excerpts in their RSS feeds.

I became an avid fan of RSS readers way back in 2004 and have never looked back since. At first I used Bloglines, which was later incorporated into Google Reader.

But I guess the RSS technique was too hard to handle for many people, and social networks such as Facebook provided an easier alternative. Unfortunately that alternative is much more passive, since you read what other people tell you to read, instead of actively finding your own favorites.

The natural follow-up question is to ask whether blogs are dying, but that is hopefully several years away.

In conclusion, it’s always sad to see old acquaintances pass away, but it is the way of life. For new things to emerge, one must clear away the old rubble. We don’t necessarily have to like it, but we still have to accept it.

3 comments

  • avatar
    Theresa
    15 Mar, 2013

    “Argh! Murgh” was my instinctive reaction. I hope RSS won’t die, and I certainly don’t want to move my RSS reading over to twitter-following, as one article suggested was the easiest way to go, as a replacement. So, what is your suggestion? What will you use iso Reader?

  • avatar
    Tess
    15 Mar, 2013

    Same reaction. Aaaargh! And I have only used google reader for about a year. Is there something we can do? Collect signatures, demonstrate, start a revolution? ;-) do you know any good replacements?

  • avatar
    Reine
    15 Mar, 2013

    The most popular alternatives right now seems to be Feedly and The Old Reader, but I haven’t tried them out yet. Even old Bloglines seems to have risen from the dead. But I want a free web-based reader which works on both desktop and mobile without any fuzz, with a clean interface, and Google Reader was spot-on. Aaargh!

    There are several petitions to participate in, e.g. http://keepgooglereader.com/ and https://www.change.org/petitions/google-keep-google-reader-running/. But unfortunately I don’t think Google would blurp out a thing like this without serious contemplation first.

    Let’s hope it’s just an early April Fools’ joke…

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Reine is a web developer who enjoys caffeine-fueled urban traveling. More...

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