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Google Reader closing on July 1st

Google announced yesterday that it is shuttering eight more products, which makes it 70 they’ve closed down since they started their cull in 2011. I’m sure this is the right decision for them, and I applaud their focus and desire to do a small number of things well but Google Reader was part of the list this time and I worry about what this closure means for bloggers and power blog readers.

There are any number of signs our there that the blogosphere is in decline. Google saying it closed Reader because user numbers were declining is and the rumoured acquisition of Pulse by LinkedIn for ‘over’ $50m are two from this week, and very few developers are updating their tools for bloggers anymore.

The closure of Google Reader, and the knock on effect on businesses like our portfolio company Taptu that rely upon the Google Reader infrastructure will on the one hand make it harder for people to read blogs like this one, and on the other hand make it harder for news hounds like myself to stay on top of multple sources. I understand that this is happening because we are small in number and that we don’t like to pay much for our tools, but it is still hard to see how it is a good thing.

I think two developments have combined to reduce expectations of the size of the blogger/news hound market. Firstly, Twitter, Tumblr and alternative lower effort blogging platforms which combine creation and conumption have taken a large slice of the market, and secondly I think that early estimates of the number of potential power users of platforms like Google Reader were overdone in the first place.

People are trying to save Google Reader, and one way to do that would be for Google to open source the code. I hope that they succeed.

  • Han

    I’m in mourning right now. Just switched over to feedly now that their service back up and running after Readerpocalypse. I hope that the transition over to other services really is seamless, I’ve got feeds from years old shuttered blogs still accessible on Google Reader, there’s probably 100s of MBs of data there which Google’s data liberation service won’t liberate.

    We might be small in number, but I would definitely pay a subscription for Google Reader. Everyone left is probably already a die-hard fan by now, sadly – Google just doesn’t like that model.

  • http://blog.raywu.co/ @RayWu

    Chris Wetherell (one of the senior engineers that created Reader) mentioned that Reader is effective partly because how it leverages Google Crawler (proprietary for search) and thus it is difficult to Open Source the product: http://gigaom.com/2013/03/13/chris-wetherll-google-reader/

    He also hinted at some creative business models based on his observation on the data Reader gathers.

    I was curious and did a survey that reached 65+ people. The price that people will pay to keep Reader is suprirsingly low. How much would you pay for the service, Nic? https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1xr6ZINsFK69VCPW2ryuTfHGrt1RyE-1D51FEAdt0VJs/viewform

  • http://www.facebook.com/ravi.bhatia.9212 Ravi Bhatia

    Yes I Go through News yesterday FATbit Blog by founding it Discussed with A
    Business Advice Forum

    http://www.businessadviceforum.com/showthread.php/46509-RSS-Readers-Google-Reader-Closed-on-July-1-2013?p=183719

    Reason
    to Closing Service : They not to make a profit from it ..

    There Are Few
    best Alternative that one Can Use :Here are top 12 Alternative

    http://marketingland.com/12-google-reader-alternatives-36158

  • http://www.theequitykicker.com brisbourne

    I think you hit the nail on the head here. I put $5 in your google doc.
    Shame they can’t open source the code.

    N

  • http://www.theequitykicker.com brisbourne

    Having thought about it, I don’t think I would pay that much, say $5 per month, at least not on ‘this is what it’s worth for the service’ basis. I might give a little more if I thought it would keep the service alive.

  • http://twitter.com/andrew_in_paris Andrew Buckman

    I tested a number of RSS feed readers a few years ago before staying with Google. I use Flipboard on my phone but it isn’t as convenient as the simple list format from Reader, though I do like that it suggests articles based on what I read – like the Last.fm app in Spotify. I would also pay a monthly fee but that moves away from the consumer strategy they have for providing simple, ad-supported services and it wouldn’t be significant. Surely this is an opportunity for Taptu and other apps that are more than just words in a list? The best quote I read about this is from Digg’s GM, Jake Levine: “You have to remember that Google Reader was built for a different Internet,” maybe we’re just old-skool ;-)

  • http://www.theequitykicker.com brisbourne

    Maybe I should give Flipboard another whirl. I agree this is an opportunity for Taptu.

  • http://twitter.com/andrew_in_paris Andrew Buckman

    I’ve been trying Feedly since yesterday. Keeps the functionalities that I like from Google Reader and adds smooth transition between the Chrome and iOS Apps. I also logged in using my Google login and found my feeds where I needed them. Very easy