Posted in General

Google kills Reader, shoots bloggers in the knee

Before I was at Massively, before Bio Break, heck, before WAAAGH!, I was already using Google Reader regularly and faithfully.  When I first started reading MMO blogs, I would have to load each page up individually — which was fine when there was five, and less fine when my interest expanded into dozens and then hundreds of blogs.  So using an RSS aggregator like Reader was a godsend; a way to funnel all of these blog posts and website articles into a single place so that I could rapidly peruse them.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I rely on Reader these days.  Well, I guess I can begin: I have 1101 subscriptions to blogs, websites, and Twitter feeds through it.  I get my morning news and comedy through it.  I catch up with MMO bloggers through it.  And I strongly depend on it when trawling for news for Massively.  Along with Twitter, it’s the tool that keeps me informed and connected to a huge bulk of the internet.

So you may (or may not) have heard that Google is killing Reader on July 1st.  Google says that usage is declining, that fewer people use RSS.  I can’t speak for others, but it’s my cyberlifeblood.  And I am in angry, angry shock that Google is doing this.

OK, it’s a free service and it’s Google’s service and that doesn’t give me a huge right to complain.  But when you’ve used such a service for six or seven years, when it’s become essential as a part of your daily routine, when it’s created brand loyalty in you — then you at least have vested interest.

Reader connects bloggers and readers and players together.  I may not always have time to comment on all the blogs I read every day, but I do read so many of them (more, even, than my links list over there indicates).  It doesn’t feel fair that Google is doing this, and I wish I could have a civil discussion directly with the person involved so that at least one high-ranking member of that company understands just how much such a tool can mean.

So I guess all of us Readers are about to try to find a new home.  Maybe a good one will become the new standard and the transfer will go just fine.  But like any move, I’m going to be scared that my feeds and organization will be messed up.  And I sincerely hope that Google recants this dumb decision before we have to head elsewhere.  There’s a spur-of-the-moment Twitter movement (#savereader) and I’m sure that some fool will begin a petition.  Internets love petitions.  But I’m afraid that it won’t be enough.

34 thoughts on “Google kills Reader, shoots bloggers in the knee

  1. I am right there with you on this one. I use google reader for all my game-related news / stories / etc etc. because some times I miss things on twitter, some times it scrolls too fast, it breaks, I just don’t feel like dealing with people – whatever the reason. Google reader was part of my every day routine and I have hundreds of feeds that I read. I’m cranky. According to the google forums where people have been posting about this sudden (to us) decision, we’re not alone.

  2. I mentioned that to you on Twitter, but for other as well, I have found a while ago a pretty good alternative, in my opinion a superior one in almost every regard. That is

    To be fair, to be able to use the service properly you need to use the Premium version… but that costs literally a buck a month (you actually pay US$12 yearly). But you get internal sharing with comments similar to what Reader used to have, previewing pages directly on the reader, filtering by tags/keywords.

    It’s a much superior service that I found out from my own blog’s Analytics, one of my readers were using it, and I’m very glad I did.

  3. I’m also on newsblur, and also love it. However it’s really hard to go check it out today as they’re currently suffering under thousands of angry GReader users looking for a replacement.

    Try tomorrow!

  4. I’ve also used Google Reader for years; I have a huge number of blogs I’m subscribed to so moving is going to be a huge pain. Between this and iGoogle also being canned, you can color me annoyed.

  5. Blimey! No, I didn’t know this. What a pain. I used to pick all my blogs off VirginWorlds but as that became increasingly unreliable I swapped to Reader and have been very happy with it.

    I am becoming increasingly untrusting of Google. They are like a bigger, worse SOE, spitting out new ideas all the time then declining to support them. If Reader goes in July, how long before Blogger follows?

    It now takes an insanely long time to back up my blog – days. Nevertheless I think I’ll have to do it. I’ll need the full backup to move when Blogger closes.

  6. Sucks. I use Google Reader every day to follow the many blogs I read. And to make matters worse, the way I use it is via the widget embedded in iGoogle which they’re also killing. Sigh…

  7. Google Reader is the only way I can most gaming blogs from the office. I can’t even go through G+, which is also inaccessible.

  8. I’m very angry. I’ve been a Google fan-girl since they were a little search engine no one seemed to know much about. Lately, though, I don’t know what to think. I have a backup email incase something goes wrong again (I got banned from G+ for awhile for using my real name … hahaha NOT and they said they could ban me from other Google services) but I’ve yet to find anything to replace my Google services that I like as much as Google. Reader is a HUGE part of my daily online everything. Recipes, gardening, feel goods, feel-with-yous, gaming news, …. Ugh.

    If this is a ploy to force more people to use G+ or use it more, it stinks.

  9. I’m very pissed about this. Google Reader is the only news reader I’ve been using for many, many years. I rarely go to sites, relying almost solely on RSS feeds. If it’s something interesting, then I go to the site.

    But I’ve loved Google Reader for so long. It allowed me to have my RSS feed no matter where I am or what device I am on. Shuttering it makes no sense at all. It’s a key Google service. If they are going to close this, why not close Gmail next. I think I’m going to stop using Google services, because they keep shutting down services I use.

  10. I too am in this boat and picked up FeedDemon. It’s not cloud based like Reader is/was, but I find it does everything near as well. In fact, I’m typing this comment from it. Cheers.

  11. Yeah, pretty bummed about this news. Reader was the about the only thing I can use to get around my work’s web filter. Starts to make you wonder if Blogspot is next…

  12. Guh. I saw this post while catching up on today’s blogs on Reader, ironically enough. This is pretty terrible — I’ve been using Reader for so many years that I honestly don’t know how I’m going to internet without it.

  13. Yeah, a nice reminder that you don’t actually have control of cloud-based software.

    I’ve been collecting info on a alternatives. Sadly, most services seem to be under pressure as there’s masses of people looking for alternatives. Guess some other sites will be getting the cast-offs Google doesn’t want. 🙂

    Funny, because I got into RSS late. I just used my blogroll for a long time; sadly, that’s been languishing ever since I started using Reader. But, I’ve been using Reader so long it’s a bit odd to think about it going away. Not sure what Google is thinking here.

  14. Feedly is apparently going to do a ‘seamless transition’ for folks who are using Google Reader. They seem a bit overwhelmed at the moment, though.

  15. Was just thinking about how I would have to start relying on GReader even more as I resurrect my website when I read they are shutting the service down…. so frustrating!

    Why are you doing this to us Google?!

  16. I am heartbroken. Google Reader is/was my constant companion. 😦

    I’ve been trying out The Old Reader — it’s basically something that a bunch of people who liked the older version of Google Reader decided to create.

    I’m still looking at other potential candidates. *sigh*

  17. Also — what’s up with all the visual/graphical aggregates? I don’t know about other people, but I would find it annoying to scroll through IMAGES of blogs and posts. All I want is a simple, text-based list that I can see at a glance, and not have to scroll through pages and pages of graphics. Sheesh.

  18. Yeah, heavy reliance on Google Reader here too. It’ll suck to have to change something that one has gotten so familiar with, but oh well, there’s three months’ notice, I’m sure a good many options will get researched and will step up to the plate to compete for Reader users.

  19. I switched from Google Reader to Netvibes several years ago and highly recommend it. It has a choice of viewing styles (list or tiled) you can use multiple tabs and it has a range of versions optimised for phones and tablets.

  20. On the matter of Google shooting blogger in the knee I fully agree. I think the way the wind was blowing was obvious from the fact that Google’s Android operating system has never properly supported Google’s own blogging platform Blogger. Inexplicably no Android browser has ever worked well with Blogger so you are left with a desultory app which lacks most of the features of desktop Blogger.

    I reckon it is only a matter of time until they decide to kill off Blogger itself.

  21. @mbp I feel you there. Android’s Blogger app ate a quarter of an already published post, right in the middle of the html behind a picture. I immediately uninstalled the whole thing. The web interface works OK from the default browser, not ideal but OK.

  22. I’m not happy about this. First they “improve” reader, causing offshoots to try to recreate the old reader (still waiting on hivemined, but I’m psyched to hear about theoldreader from the comments here) and now they just dump reader – which there is no reason to sunset, unless it’s cost prohibitive. Usage has declined, my heiney.

  23. I read all my RSS feeds at work through Outlook. They are formatted exactly like emails, so the boss can’t see me screwing around! 😉

  24. You and me both. I have not been this mad at google ever. Usually they’re pretty reasonable. I don’t understand them, and I really have to wonder what will be next: maps? gmail? I’m pretty sure declining use has absolutely nothing to do with it, its the fact that Reader doesn’t fit in Larry’s “social vision.”

  25. I have just recently got into blogging myself, but seriously, what the heck are they thinking? Declining users essentially means “no money coming in”, but really, if it wasn’t for Reader, I’m not sure I’d be using Google anymore at all, and it feels like you can’t trust any of their services that they’ll last. Who needs to use Calendar or G+ when that might be gone sometime in the near future, too?

  26. My guess is that someone will pick up Reader –or the basic design– and create their own Reader equivalent. That’s what happened with LiveJournal when the Russian DDOS attacks really kicked in with Dreamwidth, and I’d expect the same thing here. With a vacuum like what’ll be left behind with Reader’s demise, something will fill that void.

  27. Feedly was very easy to shift from GReader. I was initially surprised about Reader shutting down, but the transition to Feedly was painless (one click) and seems to have everything in good order.

  28. Not a fan of feedly at all after using it for a week or so, all I do is read blogs with reader and that layout just does not work for me 😦 . Going to try the old reader if it ever catches up on the imports that all the reader folks have sent over so far lol.

    Really mad at google for this one.

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