Google Reader Comes to an End – Farewell to RSS
by - Ritesh Sarvaiya | 69 days ago
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Google representatives talk about the Reader project as something that was meant to assist users in keeping tabs on their favorite content. It was “good” as long as it lasted. However, now that more than 7 years have passed, it is time to shutdown Google Reader once and for all.
The Rise and Fall of Google Reader:
It was a day long feared by Google Reader fans. On a personal level, I am not sure as to how many people really dug the Reader service. “We launched Google reader in 2005 in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favorite websites. While the product has a loyal following, over the years, the usage was declined. So on July 01, 2013, we will retire Google Reader,” said a Google spokesperson in an interview recently.
I don’t know how many users are interested in the RSS culture. Granted that you were a religious follower of the RSS stuff, you can still export your data, subscriptions and everything with Google Reader export service. Make sure that you have backed up your stuff before July 1, 2013.
Google Reader GUI Screenshot | CNET Images
Now let’s talk about those people who are oblivious to Google Reader. Maybe you are not an avid Reader user, or perhaps there is a possibility that you do not know what Google Reader is. In layman terms, Google Reader is a service that “once let” users subscribe to and read feeds from all manner of publishers from all over the internet.
Remember that orange color RSS button? Yeah, that was part of Google Reader. On the flip side, RSS services were not highly appreciated by people who were concerned with SEO and content management. Black hat SEO experts would simply subscribe to a website’s RSS feed and then misuse the content as they were updated regularly.
To counter copyright infringement issues, RSS feeds started coming with multiple options. For instance, in several WordPress themes and WordPress plugins, you have the liberty of adding your website URL to the RSS feed. It is more like a footer, which is automatically embedded every time new content is published.
Without any doubt, the internet is constantly being fed with fresh content. The problem is the portion of readers who are actually “interested” in reading that content through RSS mode. Google reader was a great service as long as it lasted. But we all know that some projects are meant to die one day.
“The amount of information on the Web is rapidly increasing. Google Reader helps you keep up with it all by organizing and managing all the content that you are basically interested in. Instead of having to continuously check your favorite websites for updates, you can let Reader do that for you,” said a Google representative when asked about his views on the Reader service.
There’s this theory: the internet is a big world; bigger than the one that we live in. Actually, it’s just the way perceive things in the online world. So if I or you are thinking that Google Reader did not have that much number of users or its failure is credited to a less percentage of people using it; that would not be justified.
As a matter of fact, ardent group of Google Reader fans broke out against the visual and development changes, which Google made to the service in 2011. It highlights the fact that people still had a “thing” for Reader. There was an entire ecosystem of applications which depended on Google Reader.
Think of all the app developers and everyone who ever created something that would run through Google Reader. The bigger picture is rather grave in this scenario. With Google Reader, not only an era of RSS will be ending, but also all those developers will be going out of business who ever depended on it.
Chris Wetherell Talks about Google Reader as History:
Chris Wetherell, a former engineer, a Google Blogger and also a Google employee talks about the service from a statistical point of view. Within Google, the Reader was only consuming 20 percent time of the company’s overall number of projects running side by side.
Wetherell explains that publishers were allowed to create content feeds for their readers and authors, or maybe specific sections of their websites. Readers were therefore able to subscribe to the section of feeds that they wanted to read.
Among many reasons as to why RSS and Google Reader “failed” were monetization obstacles. Plus, users have become accustomed to a degree of ease. If a user has to put in effort into reading something, clicking something or anything that requires a lot of page scrolling, forget about selling it in the market. The trend has changed.
Chris Wetherell is not a current Google employee. However he does acknowledge the fact that shutting Reader down was the right move. The guy was pleased to see Google’s success but he also agrees that investing more in Reader could have been pouring money down a sinkhole with no end.
Goodbye Google Reader – we will surely miss you…
About Ritesh Sarvaiya
The boss of 'The National', Ritesh is the man behind our masked plots, minion army and claims to take the online world to ourselves. The malicious and powerful Chief Executive Officer strikes fear into the hearts of his foes by ruling with an iron fist, and playing with his 2 year old son in spare time.
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