Yesterday, Google announced that as of July 1st 2013 they are retiring the Google Reader service. It was one of several stories that caused some bloating of my twitter timeline as scores of people that I follow picked up on it.
My initial reaction was not a good one. I started using Google Reader only a few years ago but it has become a trusted and valuable way for me to consume information and news from the industry that I work in. Its absence will have a considerable impact on my daily activities.
Having slept on it though, I’m certainly a lot more relaxed about it. Yes, it’s going to have an impact but have Google actually just provided me with a catalyst to change the way that I consume information? I mean, I could easily just swap to using another service. Feedly, for example, even have processes in place to allow you to migrate from Google Reader (something that may have contributed to their site being incredibly slow last night after the Google announcement broke). But does Googles decision point towards a trend of moving away from RSS? What then is the alternative way of reading updates from the various sites and feeds that I have been following?
I don’t have a clear answer to any of these questions just yet but I’m going to be thinking about alternatives now. In the short term, moving my collection of feeds to another service seems to be the logical thing to do. After all, that’s one of the benefits of cloud services – portability. It will only be the work of a few minutes and I can carry on reading my RSS feeds on any of my devices beyond the end of June.
Michael is a Senior Consultant for Xtravirt. If it's got buttons or flashy lights on it then it'll probably be on his radar. When not "mending computers" (it's sometimes easier than explaining "cloud" to relatives), Michael provides essential education, entertainment and trampoline services to his two children.