RIP Google Reader (Day 1 of not logging in to Google)
For the last seven years the first thing I’ve done each day is to log into Google, but that will no longer be happening. I’ve been using Google Reader to follow RSS feeds but as of today it’s been retired.
Google Reader was launched in 2005 in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favorite websites. Google Reader had a small but loyal following and yesterday on the 1st of July 2013 the service was switched off for the last time.
There are many ways to follow people, websites and feeds these days, everything from Facebook, twitter, Google Plus (no so sure about this one, yet to get to grips with Google Plus), but none of these are as good as an old fashioned RSS reader.
We use RSS for Tamebay to keep tabs on anything and everything Ecommerce related. We filter out the good bits and that’s what we write about. Of course an RSS feed can’t replace the tips and stories from our readers, but they do turn up a whole load of great content.
An example are the eBay announcement boards – we follow the announcement board on every eBay site, from the UK and US to far flung reaches of the world like Italy, Australia and India. RSS allows the news to pop up in our RSS reader and saves us having to log on to every eBay site every day just to check if there’s some news that we should let you know about.
There are plenty of other RSS readers, over the past few months we’ve tested out a load of them but the truth is (paid of free) none are quite as good as Google Reader was.
So from today onwards Tamebay are using an alternative, as are many other journalists around the world. The thing is though, journalists are some of the most prolific Internet users on the web. Imagine say a political journalist – they probably have every MP, prospective MP and countless town councillor’s blogs on their RSS reader. They also may not be logging into Google any more. That’s an awful lot of data for Google to lose because they no longer want to maintain the Google Reader service.
The one good thing with Google however is that they make it easy to download your data for use elsewhere. If you want to download your Google Reader feed data it’s available until the 15th of July on Google Takeout, after which it will be deleted.
It’s worth noting that you can download pretty much all of the data that you’ve made available to Google from Blogger to Drive, from Circles to YouTube. That’s made moving to a new RSS reader very simple.
I like companies that allow me full access to my data, it probably means because it’s so easy for me to leave it’s a great service that I won’t want to lose. Companies that make it hard to leave are often those I wish I hadn’t signed up for in the first place!
I didn’t want to lose Google Reader though, the Internet isn’t quite as convenient and user friendly a place as it was yesterday.