A Eulogy For Google Reader

June 27, 2013

Google ReaderThis one hurts.

I’ve said goodbye over the years to plenty of web services and social networks that have either died or changed so radically that they no longer met my needs.

Generally, I’ve just moved on. When TweetPhoto went away, for example, I just switched over to TwitPic. No big deal.

But the imminent demise of Google Reader, which shuts down July 1, is real blow to my digital life.

There is no web service I’ve used more frequently during the past six years. When I open my browser, I open Reader. In my experience, no other RSS feed reader is as fast and clean as Google Reader.

At one point in my career, Reader was essentially my workspace. My job required me to track headlines from about 70 TV news stations, so I tried out just about every RSS service I came across. Google Reader beat all comers.

NewsbobberAnother time I baked Google Reader into my own content aggregator. The “Newsbobber” site I built relied heavily on Reader — I could tag items in Reader and have them automatically show up on my site. I also used Google Reader to help rank the popularity of Minnesota blogs — the more subscribers a site had in Reader, the more points a blog earned.

Even today, I scroll through Reader to stay up to date on Minnesota news, industry info, politics, alerts about clients and tons of other stuff.

So now I’m moving over to Feedly, which looks OK. A few of the geeks here at Fast Horse tell me it’s a good service.

But I have to say, switching over to Feedly is a bit like getting a new puppy after good ol’ Butch, my loyal companion of a decade, dies.

R.I.P. Google Reader.