I did not see that one coming. Google Reader has been my primary source of all news through internet. While the advent of twitter and facebook has changed the way information is consumed for regular users, for people who like to read a lot, google reader is a boon. Already there are many parallel petitions online appealing to Google for reversal of the decision.
I was an avid user and hence I have already started my search for an alternative. I would like to share a few with you here, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
- Feedreader– A desktop application for those who prefer offline reading.
- Blogroll– Online, I am impressed by this with its ability to sync with Google Reader. It is also high on sharing with facebook, twitter and pinterest share buttons in every post.
- Newsblur– My current contender, it is closest to Google Reader in my opinion. The only fault is that to get its full power one needs to use the paid version.
- Google Currents/Pulse/Flipboard– They are all similar in the way they display the news and while it is good for touchscreen devices, I find them a bit too attractive for the kind of heavy reading I sometimes prefer.
- Fever– A unique one for the geeks. It can be hosted on your own server. It is Google reader what WordPress is to Blogger.
There are other alternatives as well but these are the primary ones that have caught my eyes. I am not giving a detail as I am still exploring. Besides, this is not what I want to talk about.
I want to talk about what Google is doing. Since Larry Page has become CEO again, the company has gained a new pace in both launching new services and closing old ones. The reason that was given for Google Reader’s end is that it was not gaining enough traction. Maybe so, but my question is what was this traction defined as. If it was just the number of users, it might not have been that low to be discarded aside.
Which means it must be the revenue. Now, while it is perfectly sound for a company to set aside products that are not working well in the whole perspective, I think Google might have acted a bit in haste for this one. Reader would have gone down eventually but I think it still had a few years left in it. Reader was not a mobile space app where a few weeks are all that an app is worth. In desktop universe, the softwares last longer.
In any case, what’s done is done. From here though, I expect Google to do either of the two things.
1. Open source Google Reader- It is the best out there. Even if Google has no interest in maintaining it, it should let others do it. If they can do it for Google Wave then Reader surely deserves it.
2. Integrate it in Google+ – Perhaps this is more hope as if this was in Google’s mind it would have been implemented. Still, if they can somehow implement that, Google+ will have something that isn’t on Facebook. April 1st will be the perfect time too. Surprise, we were joking. Google reader is now in Google+!
What do you guys think?