If you never used Google Reader as your RSS reader, you are lucky. You won’t know what you are missing. You also won’t know the pain that I am experiencing right now. I’m having thoughts like, “I won’t know how to use the Internet anymore,” and “How can I convince Google to change its mind?” Alas, July 1, 2013, will be the last time that the world will know the beauty that is/was Google Reader.
I’ve already discussed the importance of RSS and how it can change your life, but I never thought I’d see the day when RSS would be replaced by social media. I checked my statistics in Google Reader under “Trends” and found that I have read more than 200,000 articles since I started using the service.
A lot of those articles were just glanced at, but, for the most part, Google Reader has been how I keep up with what’s going on in the world. The sites that are near and dear to me are only one click away, all in one location. The sites that I visit daily are aggregated neatly using their RSS feeds. I can save articles for later, share them with my friends, and even send them over to Instapaper, which sends the articles to my Kindle for offline reading on an easy-to-read screen. It is my life. Not one day has gone by since I’ve started using it that I haven’t gone to Google Reader. I’m an Internet consumer, and Google Reader is my fix.
I guess we’re one step closer to the death of RSS, too. With new methods of keeping up with what’s going on in the world, I guess it makes sense. Twitter has breaking news that’s faster than the reporters can keep up with. It also has pictures of what your friends ate for dinner, comedians looking to make you laugh with one-liners, and updates from your favorite websites. But RSS makes it easy to filter out the former and focus on the latter.
A quick search on Google (yes, ironic, I know) will show how upset the imminent death of its Reader has made Internet communities all over the globe. I was so upset that I even started tweeting (@junton) #savegooglereader. I’m not a social media guy. So it came as a shock to me that I had to resort to social media to make my voice heard. I didn’t realize how important Google Reader had become to me.
I don’t know what I’m going to do now, but companies like Feedly are saying that they’ll open their doors to the dejected masses looking for a new home. I’ve tried it out. It’s not the same, but it will have to do for now. Until Twitter figures out how to keep running gags from my important news and website updates, I’ll be looking for a replacement for Google Reader. I’ll keep searching my RSS feeds until one of my favorite sites makes a recommendation for the perfect RSS reader.
Rest in peace Google Reader. Rest in peace.