The experience streamlining continues. Farewell Reader.

imageListen up kids. Let me tell you a little story about the blogging explosion. The year was 2007 and blogging was going from ‘that thing techy people did’ to main stream. Programs like Blogger made it easy and free to have a blog up in MINUTES. And everyone under the sun- thought ‘hey I want one of those!’…soon after we all became pretty interested in what others were writing, and we started to keep lists of our favorite blogs. And then came the reader. It allowed us to keep track of those favorites and read the content RIGHT THERE without having to jump around from site to site.

But bloggers figured out those readers weren’t affecting their page views, and changed their settings to limited view- now our favorite blogs only gave little teasers in the reader forcing us to click over to their site to see the entire post. Still readers were a smart way to organize sites and blogs we wanted to stay in touch with…and then it wasn’t anymore.

As the number of blogs grew it was impossible to stay on top of all of our favorites even with the use of a reader. We tried. But it came with a dose of guilt since no matter how dedicated we were- we couldn’t read them all. And we certainly couldn’t comment on them all….

So what did we do instead?

As reader usage was declining- social network usage was increasing. The blog list you see to the left is my personal list from around 2010.

(I had not logged into Google Reader until today to write this post. )

 

Today I am connected to these writers and blogs on Facebook and Twitter. They all share links to their posts- and I click over to read if it interests me. Then I comment on Facebook- often entering into full conversations with other readers and making the discussion feel real time and relevant.

imageSo the question people have is ‘Why kill it Google?’…to a Google Plus advocate the answer is pretty obvious. With every killing of an extraneous site or arm of the Google empire, we see potential for it to be folded into the G+ platform. Blogger is already connected to G+ and post publishing and following will not be far off. Remember I am the gal who said this (here)

“Think about this- You Tube, Google Search, Picasa, Blogger, Picnik, Google Earth, Google maps, Gmail, Google Docs, Motorola Mobility and MORE. Chances are- even outside of their dominant search platform you are using a Google property in some way nearly every day online. And once G+ is fully realized, it will be the connector to all of these applications. Complete sync and share across the many platforms will make working within the Google world easy, intuitive and joyful.

I no longer encourage people to join Google+.  I don’t have to- because before long, you will have a need to be part of it.”

Everything predicted is happening. Sure change is painful. But the end result will be a seamless social experience- allowing you to read your favorite blog posts within a social stream. No longer having to toggle back and forth.

So before you get too upset with Google- try to realize, this might turn out to be a very good thing for all of us.

(Follow Marcy on G+ here)

reader


Still in a panic? Try Feedly.com as a replacement : )

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Lynette Young March 14, 2013 at 7:55 am

I don’t agree at all (but realize you use blogs etc. in different ways). I have folders of readers set up to capture RSS feeds for clients and based on interest or work projects. Assuming I’m going to be staring at Google+ or Facebook when a publisher shares their blog post on a social channel means I will miss very statistically close to 100% of the content I need to track.

Not everyone that reads content online is a dyed in the wool user of social media channels. As a digital publisher and consumer, I find that loosing a way to systematically track, organize, share, and prioritise online content for me as well as clients – and prospective clients (I prospect a LOT using Google Reader) is going to put a huge hole in my data gathering and cost me hours (HOURS!!!) every single day without fail.

Neil Hopkins March 14, 2013 at 8:37 am

Hey Marcy

I’m in the strange position of disagreeing with you.

Looking at my Reader feeds, there’s a mix of blogs (most of which I don’t follow on any other channel – and probably wouldn’t either), but also a wide range of traditional news sources, job board listings and so on.

I also have various custom ‘feeds’ set up for Google searches to alert me to anything that looks like it might be quoting me.

Losing all of this will be a massive blow. I’m not yet convinced that the media sources are using G+ in any meaningful way, and I’m fairly sure that quite a few of my other sources aren’t.

Reader has been a staple of my internet sifting and consumption, and I just don’t see that the functionality will be replicated anywhere else for a long time…

Neil

Kristi March 14, 2013 at 9:02 am

I also disagree. I use a feedreader to put full feed blog posts into Reader so I can seamlessly read it in one swoop. I HATE having to click through Facebook to read a blog post on my iPhone. It sucks. It takes forever to load, it can be rendered oddly if people don’t have a mobile responsive website, and Facbook puts it in their browser so I often get lost… I can’t email myself the blog link if I want to read it later… and it’s just a mess.

Twitter is the same. It pushes me out to Safari.. erases my other browser windows since I only get 8… and makes it a big old mess.

I want a reader that will collect my friends, family, and competitor blogs that I can read seamlessly… and when I want to.

Maria Johnson March 14, 2013 at 9:10 am

I couldn’t agree more. Reader will be a waste of time once G+ integrates blog publishing into their platform. Great post Marcy!

The Blog Mom March 14, 2013 at 9:18 am

FINALLY. Someone who gets it.
People need to stop complaining. Use feedly if you have to. Otherwise evolve your thinking about how you consume posts and data.

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