Google Reader Is Dead; Now Stop Crying

Google Reader deadOh! And they are all emotional about Google Reader. 100% of tweets I read about Google Reader in last week are all crying like babies, to bring it back. Does this image on the right describe your situation? Sometimes I wonder whether are we really in the internet era, where moving ahead is too fast to hang on to products (no matter how good they are).

I am clear about this, I never liked Google Reader myself. It is just another aggregation tool for me, gets me all news that I might like to read from all sources I might continue to like. Seems good, but no thanks!

With all text and no design, it kept me loaded with all those number of articles that I missed out. Google Reader would keep me to itself forever. Surfing the web should always be fun and not stressful. So when they decided to kill it, I was least bothered.

Google Reader is dying
Powering Down Google Reader / a clip from Google Blog

Considering the kind of service it was, if you feel you love Google reader, it actually means you relied on it. Your day started and ended with it. And now when its about to go, you are feeling lost. Though, it gives you the option to shift to alternatives and newer platforms – but you are too lazy to do that. And who likes to change to something new. Google says they are discontinuing the service as the users are on decline and they might not be making enough money to sustain it. It means, Google Reader being the most popular RSS reader on the Web, if people are quitting Reader, they are likely to quit the alternatives too.

Change is inevitable. #MoveOn

I feel for you – if you are disappointed. However, it can happen to anyone, any business and any product, me or you. Every day, our computers, phones, and tablets coax us to try new stuff — new apps, new sites, and new services that will supposedly make ‘this or that thing’ so much more awesome than before. This time, people are finding ‘alternatives to RSS’ (rather than saying it as ‘alternatives to Google Reader’).

We must be aware of the dangers of committing too hastily into technology. It changes faster than you think. For example, I shifted to Flipboard on my smart phone and since then, all other RSS and aggregation tools were a waste to me. When Google launched Reader in 2005, the company talked about it like they’d keep it around forever. You took them at their word, and now you’ve been tweeting all day about what they’ve done to you. There is nothing to be emotional. I am sure you’ll find better ways to keep up to the world.

google_reader_dead

And, you cannot blame a company of shelving a product – which was anyways coming free to you and that isn’t selling as well in the market as their other products. They simply chose to devote more time on better-ing other stuff. You can also go harangue about whether does it not mean Google gives a shit about its customers; well you can do that if that makes you happy! However, any company would rather give little more importance to the core business and survival than giving loyal customers their stuff for free or do some CSR.

Google = Experiments

Google is known to all of us for the experiments it consistently does; and few success out of many attempts has made this company what it is today. They considered Google Reader as an attempt, while you considered it as a success. Should your opinion matter to Google? Well, yes! But will you feed Google employees if they ever need you, I assume No.

Google Reader Out, Google Keep In

google reader google keepAgain, I read it here whether its a good time to launch Google Keep at the moment when people are aggressive and emotional for Reader? Om Malik writes, “Sorry Google you can keep it to yourself” and voices about the trust Google has broken and they might also run down Google Keep some day.

I would say, its about how great an app is and its viability over a long run. If they go away again – they’ll let you know well in advance so that you can transfer / export your data and your business isn’t affected.

So if Evernote suits you, great! However, if Google Keep offers a little extra stuff or convenient features or better experience in future – people will shift. If something better than Google comes, people will shift again. And then again!

Can you stop Google Reader from dying?

What happened to Google Reader, happened very much because its a “Google” Reader; and this is how Google has been evolving. Some companies believe in offering the best products and services, others love offering products of tomorrow. Google is the latter and for a company with Google’s ethos and standing, bottle-neck, non-revenue-producing product that’s holding others back, prevents the company from moving forward.

Consider this, Google might as well do away with Google Search one day in order to offer something futuristic or disruptive something that I cannot think of. Sounds stupid, isn’t it? Would you be surprised again?

Satyam is a Consultant with Infosys Ltd. and editor / founder of marketinomics.com. When he is not talking about Digital Marketing or dreaming of CRM strategies, he can be found on a treadmill. He enjoys travelling, reading and listening to music! Catch up with him on twitter at @xatyam

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