Google Reader is something I never thought much about. It just worked and, via well-crafted iOS or Mac apps such as Mr Reader or Reeder, I just got on with ploughing through the day’s news in the most efficient manner possible. Now Google has pulled the plug and the Reader service will cease on July 1. Dr Drang has a thoughtful piece on the history of GR this morning:
……how Google Reader got to be the 800 pound gorilla of RSS. It’s almost as if it were a fait accompli, that Google is a force of nature that inevitably takes over any field it gets into. The way I see it, though, is that it was the iPhone that put Google Reader in the driver’s seat.
I love being able to skim through newspaper, magazine and blog feeds and to have my reading list synchronised between all my devices. I am not amused at Google’s unilateral action. Even Adolf Hitler is incandescent as well he might be.
Recently I have also come to love Zite for its ability to present stories in an attractive magazine format and to discover new sites that I wouldn’t naturally have visited. Instead of specifying individual feeds, as in Google Reader, Zite takes your interests and finds compatible material. It works really well and, spurred by the demise of GR, Zite has worked quickly to add Reader-like feeds to its magazine interface.
We have three months until news flow ceases. Time to take stock, not rush to alternatives, and see what turns up.
by Mike Evans, 15 March 2013