March 14, 2013 - Comments Off on Bereft at the loss of Google Reader, bewitched by Feedly

Bereft at the loss of Google Reader, bewitched by Feedly

Picture the scene: the sun was shining when I walked to work this morning. I was listening to the uplifting swagger of ZZ Top in my headphones. Life was good. And then I logged into Twitter, only to see the following: Google Reader is closing the book on 1st July.

My positive start to the working day was shattered. I love Google reader. I use it every day to keep an eye on what’s now and what’s new with early adopters of sociable websites, apps, startups and communications strategies.  I follow topics and news in carefully organised folders and keep a useful log of all the blog posts I reference in my day to day, and recommend to colleagues, friends and clients.  I have loved the fact that when I log into Gmail I can easily flit between Drive, Reader, Google+ and my Calendar and fully expected this to only get better, not start losing handy elements of my Google profile.

Shock was my first overwhelming feeling, followed by disbelief and swiftly frustration with a smattering of anger. All Google have to offer in response is that they are focusing on other projects and while they understand that Google Reader users will be sad, they are sad too. You can read  Google’s explanation here.

Not much of an explanation from Google, then.  I was surprised as I was expecting Reader to become integrated into Google+ – a tactic that would have made sense to both die hard Google Reader users and a worthwhile attempt from the technology giant to increase awareness and usage levels of Google+. It could have been a win-win situation for everybody.

As pointed out on Mashable, the news of Google Readers’ demise has not been well-received!  Chris Taylor states: ‘The fact that Google first tried to bury the news in the middle of a “spring cleaning” blog post — filled with news of the death of a number of APIs and widgets of interest only to developers — suggests the company knew this was going to be an unpopular move.’

Chris’ post links through to two petitions as well, which I’ve duly signed (and you can too if you feel as passionately as I do!). However, I’m not going to hang about to see if the petitions work – I love my RSS feeds too much and need a new place to follow my top news sources pronto.

Every cloud has a silver lining; a new, bewitchingly pretty alternative in Feedly

Thanks to the uproar on Twitter from other Google Reader addicts, I was recommended an alternative by several people. Thanks to Twitter friends Jen Garrick, Mark Shahid and Benjamin Ellis, I have a new place to collate, collect, follow and categorise the blogs that are to me as a daily newspaper is to others.

Feedly appears to be the new platform to use.  It’s possible to transfer all of your subscriptions from Google Reader to the Feedly feed in just one click – phew.  I’m already impressed – here is a great example of knowing your audience and being in the right place at the right time with a well thought out and easy-on-the-eye replacement.

Feedly looks and feels like a pretty Pinterest version of Google Reader. It has succeeded in turning my mood around today so hopefully it will quash your tears over the death of Google Reader too!   I’ll be interested to see if Google do change their mind about this, though, as Twitter is up in arms and the RIP Google Reader is the most read post on Mashable currently…

A quick chat in the Bloom office revealed I wasn’t the only one to feel strongly about this. A few people feel annoyed and perplexed at the decision, and I’ll leave you with Dave’s (Senior SEO Consultant) thoughts on the subject:

“It’s a shocking decision in my honest opinion. I understand they want to migrate as many people as they can onto their ‘new’ platforms (I was expecting G+ integration as well), but I feel they are alienating a whole bunch of ‘power users’ who still use Google Reader.

I know a few people in the SEO industry who have been dreading this announcement, lamenting this decision, and will think less of Google because of it. It is these type of users that help build Google into what it is today and are ‘influencers’ who advise their friends/family on what tech to use.  They could have just left the thing up! I guess Feedly are going to get all my ebay mis-spelling feeds now.”

How about you? Are you lamenting the loss of Google Reader or are you in the indifferent camp?