March 26, 2013

Leaving Reader

Tags: General

Google Reader is the website I visit most often. The Reader tab is always open on the leftmost tab of my browser. I check it second in the morning (after my email) and periodically during the day, easily spending an hour a day “catching up”. Since February 2008 I have read over 250K posts from 97 feeds. I don’t use Twitter much, I find Reader to be far superior.

Now it is closing. Why, why Google, why?

Hitler, I feel you. I don’t want my news retweeted by Stalin either.

It is heartening to see that so many other people online feel the same way. I understand it was a free service and that Google has every right to do what they want with it. Although I never had the chance to not be a free user. Still, the shutdown is incredibly disruptive. Now I am far more wary of Google’s products. As are other people, suggesting this is a bad business move for Google by decreasing public trust in their products. See articles here, here and here. Of course, I found all of those through Reader!

Now I am going through all the free online products I use and imagining their disappearance. Most are unimportant - I wouldn’t care if they were shutdown. However, there are a few that would cause me concern. A couple of these are free Google services. I will have to research alternatives - just in case. I’ll certainly think twice about replacing existing offline services with online ones.

In the meantime, I’ve switched to The Old Reader for RSS feeds. Just trying it out at the moment. It is nothing fancy, a bit slow, but does everything I need. So I will probably stay.