#Google Reader, #Mourning, #Technology

On The Passing of Google Reader

When I heard about the impending closure of Google Reader, I reacted as any rational person would: I freaked the hell out in my head, and wondered what I would do now that a huge part of my daily workflow for the past eight years was going away. Does that make me an entitled bastard? Probably.

Their reasoning behind the closure was that “usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company [they’re] pouring all of [their] energy into fewer products,” and that seems like a bit of a cop out, for many reasons. To address the first point, we never really get a solid look at what those declining numbers are. Did they lose 50% of their user base in two years? What exactly does that look like? In so far as focusing their energy on fewer products, they chose some pretty wild products in a range of industries that are decidedly not part of what I perceive to be their core. Are self driving cars, Google Glass, and Chromebooks really more important than a product that is useful right now on the web?

I don’t know why I’m so bothered by this closure. The fact is, I gather the vast majority of my news and information from Google Reader, and switching to another service is going to be tough. I’ve already chosen Feedly, and done the prerequisite sync, but it’s not the same the experience. Perhaps with time, the information flow that service provides will match up or become better, but right now, I’m not impressed by the in-browser experience.

Sad to see you go, Reader.