[DMT] The Discontinuing of Google Reader

Originally from http://kiri.dmt-uts.net

This post was first published here on my DMT UTS blog, on Mar 16, 2013 @ 11:05pm.

While pursuing UTSOnline this afternoon for DMT, I noticed that a link to Google Reader appears among the list of (additional?) resource links in the Week 11 folder covering Javascript, AJAX and more importantly to this post... Feeds.

However the sad truth is that mere days ago, Google announced the closure of Google Reader and several other of its services as part of "what it’s calling an ongoing spring cleaning effort" (TechCrunch 2013), and Google Reader is set to be powered down on 1 July, 2013.

Google Reader logo

Google (2013) officially posted on their blog:

There are two simple reasons for this: usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products. We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience.

Indeed, this is a trend of many companies lately, such as Twitter (2013) announcing the closure of its Posterous service and discontinuing support for TweetDeck for iOS and Android and TweetDeck AIR in order to focus their efforts, as it were, and improve their preexisting services.

The ironic thing in this instance is that it is possible that it's services such as Twitter that led to the eventual closing down of Google Reader (The Australian 2013). This rising trend of reliance of social networks as content delivery to us, not only via Twitter but also Facebook and Google+ (Schade 2013) and services such as Flipboard (Mashable 2013), has slowly shifted people from checking their feeds to simply tracking news where it's real-time and streamed.

TweetDeck for Twitter

Schade (2013) says "the key was you were sharing thoughts and stories with people you trusted, as well as just pulling feeds", and it appears these needs are now mostly fulfilled by social networks, leading to this apparent 'death of RSS'. Indeed, currently people are turning to social networks more as a way of both sharing and conversing, but Google itself also removed valued functionality from their service which has led this eventual situation. TechCrunch (2012) wrote in the past:

RSS, as a mainstream consumer technology, is mostly dead today (though it still provides a lot of the backend plumbing for many web and mobile apps). Google itself is barely investing in Google Reader anymore and, as far as we know, pulled virtually all of the Reader team into other projects a long time ago.

But of course, with Google Reader gone, we are left to wonder: where to go on from now? There are many services that rely on Reader still (Schade 2013, Mashable 2013) and something is required to fill that gap. Digg will apparently make an effort to fill that gap (The Australian 2013), but there is only 3 months before Reader disappears... for good.

You can read my post on Twitter discontinuing TweetDeck support at my personal blog.

References       Google 2013, 'Powering Down Google Reader', weblog, The Official Google Reader Blog, viewed 15 March 2013, <http://googlereader.blogspot.com.au/2013/03/powering-down-google-reader.html>.       Mashable 2013, RIP Google Reader, viewed 16 March 2013, <http://mashable.com/2013/03/13/google-kills-google-reader/>.       TechCrunch 2012, The FeedBurner Deathwatch Continues: Google Kills AdSense for Feeds, viewed 16 March 2013, <http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/28/the-feedburner-deathwatch-continues-google-kills-adsense-for-feeds/>.       TechCrunch 2013, Google Closes The Book On Google Reader On July 1, Seven Other Products Also Get The Chop, viewed 16 March 2013, <http://techcrunch.com/2013/03/13/rip-google-reader/>.       The Australian 2013, Internet outrage at death of Google Reader, viewed 16 March 2013, <http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/net-outrage-at-death-of-google-reader/story-e6frgakx-1226597812086>.       Schade, R. 2013, 'Goodbye Google Reader', Rubenerd, weblog, Sydney, viewed 16 March 2013, <http://rubenerd.com/goodbye-google-reader/>.