bbr marketing Blog
Google is Killing Off Google Reader
by Kelly Lucas, marketing and social media manager
It’s not the first time that a major player has been offed. The Walking Dead killed off Sophia, Dale, Lori, T-Dog and Shane. Lost killed Boone. Dallas killed off Bobby Ewing. However, Dallas realized the stupidity of that move and brought Bobby back to life via an “it was all a dream” plot line that has become legendary. Google now finds itself in the company of this illustrious group. Stuck down in the bottom of a blog about Spring cleaning, Google announced yesterday that it will be eliminating its Google Reader service as of July 1, 2013. My reaction was like many around the internet: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (A very reasonable reaction, of course.)
For those who are only now being introduced to Google Reader, it’s an RSS feed reader. What is an RSS feed? RSS stands for “real simple syndication.” Most websites have an RSS feed, identified by the square icon (usually orange) with WiFi ellipses (see image). If that’s still a bit too technical, here’s how it all works together, in plain English:
• If you frequent websites that have RSS feeds, you can subscribe to their feeds by using an RSS feed reader, like Google Reader.
• The reader is a receptacle for any and all website feeds you’d like to keep tabs on.
• When a website adds a new post or page with brand new information, this new content is fed into the RSS feed, in real time.
• This allows you to keep up with all the websites you like, without having to visit each and every website. Instead, you login to your reader and all the new updates for all those websites are listed in one place.
If you write blogs or just want to keep up with the latest news, RSS feed readers are a great and very efficient way to stay on top of everything that’s going on and to get great ideas for your own content. As a ghostwriter for several client blogs, not to mention our blog posts, my Google Reader is a staple of my workday. I check it frequently not just for blog ideas, but also for links to share on our social media sites and those of our clients.
By my reaction, you might think that the end of Google Reader means the end of the RSS feed. Well, not exactly. There are several other feed reader options. Mashable reviews and lists out a few alternatives and explains their pros and cons versus Google Reader:
On the surface, the three alternatives that match the look, feel and functionality of Google Reader are Feedly, NewsBlur and The Old Reader. Each app offers the ability to import Google Reader’s OPML feeds, as well as share features reminiscent of Google Reader prior to October 2011. Our only fear with recommending some of these services is the long-term viability of these platforms.
I’m not alone in my woe. Fellow enthusiasts took to Twitter and other websites to vent their frustration and decry the end of Google Reader. A social networking pal of mine and Senior Editor for YourTechReport.com, Juan Carlos Bagnell, was equally taken aback. “Google Reader’s most significant advantage for me was it’s integration with my other Google services. Logging in through a browser? It was just another click to get to all of my subscriptions. Browsing through my Android Reader app, a single tap would allow me to share a specific story through email or with all of my social followers,” he states. “It might not have been the most feature rich RSS service, but it handled the basics better than anything else I had used.”
Google relayed in a later blog post that they will help with the transition of your feeds to another reader via a program called Google Takeout. While that’s nice and all, I’d prefer just to keep my Google Reader. Yeah, I know, at the end of the day, it’s not that big of a deal. But people like what they like, and no matter what anyone says, change isn’t always good. Just ask the folks of New Coke. Then again, while officially considered a marketing blunder by many, it made people rally around “Coca-Cola Classic” and we’re still talking about it to this day. So who knows, this could be Google’s New Coke – a failure on its face, but brilliant marketing when you stand back and take a broader look.
If you think we Google Reader enthusiasts are overreacting, I’d love to hear why in our comments section. If you’re with me and want Google to leave well enough alone, let us know. You can also let Google know through a couple of Google Reader online petitions on Change.org and KeepGoogleReader.com. Stand united, my fellow Reader nerds. We shall prevail!
Leave a Comment