I am a bit of a RSS feed addict. My most visited site is Google Reader and I keep tabs on over 100 sites/blogs on it. There is no way I would be able to receive the same amount of content if I had to visit each of these sites just to check if they had new content. Safe to say, RSS feeds make online content more accessible.
So I am one of the many people questioning Google’s decision to discontinue Google Reader on July 1st. I know this wasn’t a sudden decision on Google’s part. Google has had a history of taking Reader off of their main navigation. After complaints, Google briefly conceded to users and placed it back, only to quietly move it to their sub-navigation permanently.
The Internet’s Reaction
I find it fascinating when super-giant internet companies like Google commit the cardinal sin of internet culture: Do not piss off the internet! After the death of Google Reader was announced, it became a trending topic on Twitter (over the announcement of a new Pope). Thousands of users expressed their disappointment and dismay. A Change.org petition was started and is now at 48,000 signatures and counting. This Tumblr page seems to showcase the internet’s reaction best in animated gif form. It remains to be seen whether Google will bend to any of this backlash.
The Good News
Undeniably, the best news is that this leaves other companies room to explore new solutions for RSS readers. This will lead to new innovations and better user experience as each company will be sure to compete for users looking for Google Reader replacements. Google has also made it easy for us to move all of the data we’ve been storing on Google Reader, you can download your data here.
Feedly has already proved they are on top of their game by releasing a statement to users to let them know they are prepared for the switch. Feedly gets my vote for now since I’ve been using it on my iPhone for a few months now. There are also other alternatives such as Bloglovin, The Old Reader and Reeder. I also think many more RSS readers will pop up in the up and coming months. And this is a good thing. More competition equals more innovation. The death of Google Reader may be a blessing in disguise for users.