Yesterday evening, I went to Google Reader to get my blog-reading fix and was greeted with that. That thing up there. WTF, Google?!?
I remember thinking, how could I miss the memo about Google Reader shutting down? Why didn't anyone tweet about it? I can't be the only one who is still using this service! Well, turns out that the whole Internet got the memo about the same time I did. Right after I tweeted about it, a series of tweets from angry nerds flooded my timeline, cursing Google for killing the Reader. These are a few of my favourites:
There's a new pope? BETTER SHUT DOWN GOOGLE READER FOREVER
— Ryan North (@ryanqnorth) March 13, 2013
Thank the FSM for the new pope, we've got someone to blame!
Thank God they spared Orkut
— Pinboard (@Pinboard) March 13, 2013
Apparently Orkut is big in Brazil and an angry Brazillian mob is the last thing Google wants to deal with.
Two weeks of no pope: baby cured of HIV, breath test for cancer, salt water found on moon of Jupiter. Day one with pope: Google Reader dies.
— Jamster (@jamster83) March 14, 2013
The pope reference is unevitable, really. I wonder if the new pope hates Google for stealing his thunder.
Anyway, the next thing that came to my mind was the fate of Feedburner, which is also owned by Google. As is the case with Google Reader, Google hasn't done any new developments on Feedburner for ages. Would it be the next one getting axed? If so then what's going to happen to small time bloggers like myself who rely on both services to reach their readership? It would be the last nail in the coffin for non-mainstream, personal blogging, and it's actually kind of sad.
I love seeing Google Reader on the list of referrers in my blog stats. I love going to Feedburner and seeing that even though I only get comments on my blog posts once in a blue moon, I still have over 200 feed subscribers. I know that I have decided to blog for myself instead of for other people but, well, I guess old habits die hard. I still like knowing that somewhere out there, someone cares about me, even if only a little bit; that someone out there finds my life interesting enough to read about. That's right, I still love you, kind readers! I really do!
Roughly 70% of this blog's feed readers use Google Reader and its dependents. If you are one of them, this article from TheNextWeb has some recommendations on some RSS readers you could potentially switch to. I'm trying out Feedly at the moment but I like the interface of The Old Reader, which looks a lot like Google Reader before Google added all the bells and whistles. I haven't got the chance to give the latter a try because their server was swamped and I couldn't import my Google Reader subscriptions just yet, but I think it's got potential.
So. Yeah. Sad time. Especially when you've been using Google Reader since it was still in its early stage, ca. 2005. 8 years is a long time in blog year.