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Why we will miss Google Reader

March 14, 2013

Published here on March 14, 2013

Today, you would think our team members were replaced with a herd of deer staring into bright headlights. Thanks to Google’s announcement that it’s shutting down Google Reader on July 1, we are just … stunned.

The tech company already dominates the search engine, email, online mapping and 5-minute video clips (that’s you, YouTube). Perhaps ruling a kingdom gets tiring, and Google has decided to release one of its territories to the rest of the world. But Google Reader? In the announcement, the company said it was “spring cleaning.” Spring cleaning or destroying the way we read the news? We’re not bitter.

We understand the service has not undergone any major updates for quite some time, but it didn’t need any. Its functionality was pristine. Every member of the Crossroads team enjoyed arriving at work, hopping on Google Reader and exploring the various updates of our account industries.

Not to mention how important it is in the tech PR industry to stay abreast of ever-changing technologies. We’ve been left with our Twitter feeds, and they’re just so … unorganized. We can’t make folders of the different topics we follow, neatly stuffing each RSS feed inside. Twitter lists cannot fill that need. What’s that thing people say about bundling tasks together to increase time efficiency?

Crossroads is perplexed. True to our adaptable nature, we are exploring other alternatives (listed below), but our team members will probably go their separate ways. You can argue the benefit of alternatives, but there will be no more “Hey did you see that on Google Reader today?” conversations. Nevertheless, we — and every other saddened blog reader — must press on. Here are some of our options:

  • NetVibes is one of the most popular web readers, and includes RSS feeds, Twitter feeds, and feeds from up to 200 apps. It conveniently posted instructions on how to migrate your Google Reader feed to its servers.
  • NewsBlur looks very similar to Google Reader, so if you’re looking for familiarity, this may be the route to take. It works on a desktop, Android and iOS systems. However, you have to pay for a premium account in order to follow more than 64 sites. For you news junkies out there, this may not be the option.
  • Feedly is also popular, but looks very different from Google Reader. It’s got browser capability and apps for Android and iOS. Feedly also has instructions for moving your feed.

We are not alone in picking up our dropped jaws. Thousands up upset online community members took to Twitter to express their concern. Here were some of our favorites:

  • “Google Reader is to Twitter as a well-labeled filing cabinet is to a bag of insane cats.”
  • “Updating my Google Calendar fills me with fear that it too may end one day.”
  • “Imagining Julia Child’s voice saying #SaveGoogleReader instead of #SaveTheLiver has been keeping me entertained while reading all morning.”
  • “I’m so upset about Google Reader. How am I gonna waste my time now?? #savegooglereader

Of course, we are open to suggestions as to where to take our blog-reading needs. Feel free to offer advice!

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