Sunday 17 March 2013

Goodbye Google Reader

I was more than a little surprised when I logged into Google Reader on Thursday to be confronted with a message that the service would be closing in July, apparently due to a "lack of use". I haven't been keeping up with things so hadn't heard rumblings of this, but apparently it's been slated for a while.

It's been a pain trying to find a viable alternative - I'm currently testing out Feedly because it lets you keep ALL of your Google subscriptions (something Skimr had problems with) but I don't like its layout compared to Google Reader. I subscribe to over 200 blogs and it can be a nightmare trying to keep up with everything when posts are listed by the day they were posted, not by blog title (unless there's a way to change the setting that I haven't found yet).

But I never really considered it as being any more of a problem than that until I read a Problogger post on the subject. As they point out, many people visit blogs by using readers, so will a lack of a viable reader cause a downturn in blog traffic?

I never really look at my analytics, but I checked for March so far, and it turns out that none of the referring sources for my blog visits came from Google Reader. It was mostly tweeted links, Facebook posts via networkedblogs or Google+. A couple of visits came via Google searches but while the analytics tell me that I have subscribers, they don't visit the blog - perhaps they just read the posts in the Reader. So how will those readers access my content after Reader closes?

I like Google, I do, and while I don't miss Google Wave or Feedburner, I will miss Google Reader because of its efficiency and ability to get the job done. Will Feedly be able to take its place? Only time will tell!

What readers, if any, do you use?


JoniB said...

Hi Icy,

I'm a Reader user, too. I was royally honked off when I saw the message. I'm in the process of switching to Netvibes. I don't really like it but I'm sure I can get used to it and I'm hoping I can customize it more than it appears right now.

You're right about the ease of use with Google Reader. I wish someone would consider just buying it outright from Google so we can just keep using it.

No matter what, I'll be following your blog. I love your Friday Flashes and I would love to hear more about your PhD journey. I've never had access to anyone going through it and I'm really curious about it.

Katherine Hajer said...

Now I feel guilty -- I do use Google Reader, but mostly as a bookmarking device, rather than.... a reader. But that's because they got rid of Google Note!

Walt said...

From what I've been reading, Feedly is developing a project they are calling 'Normandy' which will be a Google Reader Clone.

I've been trying out the Feedly apps (Chrome Extension and iOS & Android Apps) and I'm not sold just yet. I'm struggling with the Magazine format and several hundred RSS Feeds.

I'm eager to see what they can do with their upcoming clone.

The Junkie said...

Feedly seems to be what people I know are switching to. I can get it close to Google Reader by tweaking the preferences, but only close.

John Wiswell said...

I always heard people using it before this announcement, and seldom heard of any competing products. I was surprised to hear it was going, even though I never used Google Reader.

Icy Sedgwick said...

I still don't fully understand their reasoning - it's not like Reader was another version of Google Wave...

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