Google have just announced that they are discontinuing Google Reader (GR) in July. I can’t say I love GR as every time I look at it I feel like my eyeballs are being sand-papered but it is a great way to list subscriptions in a nice, long, scannable list. It was ugly but it worked.
Google say that, “While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined.” So, there weren’t enough ‘loyal’ folks like myself using the service to make it worthwhile for Google to keep managing and maintaining it.
I can’t complain too much as it is a free service and as Google, Facebook and other providers have made abundantly clear over the years — No pay = no say.
Protesting the decision would be futile and leaves me to lament its passing and reflect that barebones presentation does not make good design. GR wasn’t a place to hangout because of its soothing user experience.
My other reader is Feedly. It is a lovely service and it is a pleasure to scan through it for stories I might have missed at times of low pressure but as an everyday working tool it gets laborious.
However, it does work very nicely across the platforms which is something that I wish Flipboard would do.
Dave Winer, a major developer of RSS (Really Simple Syndication) which is the technology at the back of GR, is not sorry to see it go for a couple of reasons.
For a start he, “Didn’t trust the idea of a big company like Google’s interests being so aligned with mine that I could trust them to get all my news.”
And also, “I didn’t think the mailbox approach to news was right. Who cares how many unread items there are. I like the river of news approach.”
So, soon to be bereft of being able to process my news in rapid and easy manner, does anyone have any suggestions for what I could use instead? This time around I won’t mind paying because I do want a say.