Why Closing Google Reader Is A Good Thing | A Retrospective

google reader rip

An open letter.

Thank you Google.

Thank you for giving us a simple, wonderful, effective (and free) RSS aggregator in Google Reader.

The news you are now going to retire the service is sad but not surprising.

Personally, been honoured to have introduced thousands upon thousands of individuals to the platform through my seven years as a social media trainer / masterclass take / speaker. Even a couple of days ago was enabling a group of librarians here in Wellington, NZ to the power of filtering the web and creating your own social media menu.

Of course I’ve tried other services like Yahoo RSS and Netvibes plus also dabbled with a few desktop readers, but you always got me coming back with your minimalist approach and deep integration with other platforms (not to mention a direct distribution channel through email).

Understand you’ll now be focussing your efforts on other services and although we’ll all miss and have to find another RSS aggregator, the closure will spark new players into the game, and for those already providing services, an opportunity to tighten up their offerings. This will be a good thing (although feel for those folks who created apps like Reeder and thers which sync the reader data in to make it work).

It will also move me further away from all my data being routed through you guys—as you and I both know, it’s getting a little creepy nowadays how we used to be users and are now the products being packaged and sold on (without full disclosure of the parties involved).

Thanks again Google for the memories, making me look awesome and keep in touch.

For those who are looking for alternatives, check out these:

…anyone use any of the above? Which are the best? What do you think about this announcement?
Related post: OOooooohhhh Vienna | A Google Reader Substitute


  1. Hi there DK, liked your post about Google reader.
    I found that although I would select what I wanted to receive from Google reader that once there were 1000 or 1000+ items for me to read (because I had been so busy), that I would read none of them because there are always new things to read. So I have become more and more selective and now I just check the twitter trends and the main google news… only going deeper if I want.

    1. Thanks for your contribution Andrew – there’s always the ‘mark all as read’ button which wipes it clean and away you go again. Sounds like it wasn’t part of your day-to-day activities – not a big thing, it seems you get your fill from other sources (for me it’s integral to keep on top of amazing stuff although I constantly prune my sources).

  2. A year ago I didn’t know about google reader but already I have the withdrawal shakes! How will I survive?!!

  3. Just like you DK, I have introduced hundreds of people to Google Reader, citing it as an integral part of a teachers digital toolkit. Why do they keep taking away tools that are useful? I loved the Wonder Wheel, timeline and Google Squared and those were removed as well.

    1. I guess it’s the shifting face of the web – the trick is to be evolving with it (a task I know you’re more than competent in doing) – onwards!

  4. The more I read, the more I realise I don’t know half as much as I think I do. Never heard of google reader before, but from the sounds of it, I should have. Oh well, I guess I will just jump on the next bandwagon.
    Question: What is the next bandwagon? Just so I have a head start.

    1. We’re all students here Pascal :-)

      Will paraphrase a line from Pirsig to answer the ‘what’s next?’ question: it’s not what’s new but what’s best. Basically, it’s what fits your workflow and style to deliver upon whatever success means to you.

  5. Great post DK – I was just telling a group about this yesterday, as like you I have introduced it to many a learner – librarian, youth worker, educator.. still nothing stays the same. Would love to meet up when you return to the UK in Oct :)

    1. At least we have till 1st July to pick a new RSS reader… lots to choose from and like I said, it’s probably for the best :-)

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