Unlike my usual “where’s the catch” outlook when faced with Google+ or Facebook changes, my initial reaction was positive when the news came out that Google Reader was getting updated. Reader was getting a new design and being brought closer together with Google+, sounds good.
However I’m not an expert Reader user; yes I’ll visit it regularly during the week and I couldn’t manage to scan read or store the amount of information that I do using another tool. It is the easiest way I know to scan read and store lots of information from many blogs and feeds, my on line library of all manner of articles from arts & craft through to anti-spam measures.
My initial, “ah that makes sense getting to integrate Google+ for sharing”, gave way to “doh! there’s the catch” and then “oh darn it, that sucks” when I realised that:
- the sharing activities like friending, following and sharing were going to be “retired”
- there was a whole world of communities sharing news and stories via Google Reader
- for countries like where social networks are banned, Reader was essentially a news feed and social network
So basically, as described by Google Operating System
Having now read more articles about Google Reader, I understand the value that users gained from Reader and appreciate why so many are upset at these changes. Thanks goes to Sarah Perez from TechCrunch, it was your article that got me reading more about the reaction to the planned changes.
What is harder to understand is why Google is forcing sharing through Google+. Yes Google wants to focus on fewer areas but how does shutting down sharing help that, or is this the first step in “retiring” the Reader? It’s worth noting at this point that I’m not even going to talk about the new design, (it’s going to take some getting used to, and I miss the colours), so I’m including this link to a review by Brian Shih, ex-PM on Google Reader. Check out the updated and comments at the end of the article to see how to share via Google+ without publicly +1-ing everything.
Google made it clear from the first announcement that they expected losses as some may not want to continue with the Product and flagged that they would be extending the Reader’s export feature; allowing users to take their data with them. But I’ve realised that Google has missed the point: these users have years of experience invested in using Google Reader and the sharing networks/communities that they have helped grow…and more importantly, these users don’t want to go and are taking action.
Some are marching to occupy Google Reader, some are looking at other readers, Francis Cleary is creating HiveMined (an RSS feed with some social bits) and the rest of us are are looking at the best ways to share both via and avoiding Google+.
I’ve also joined the 14,000+ who’ve signed the Save Google Reader Petition.
**If you are trying to work out how to find your previously shared items – check out Alex Chitu’s post**