Yesterday, Google announced the retirement of a number of its services, including Google Reader, its RSS aggregator. The retirement will take place on July 1. This is unfortunate. I’ve used Google Reader for years as the place where I aggregate my RSS feeds. I generally don’t read my RSS feeds using Reader. For that I use Reeder on my iPad or iMac. But Google Reader is the engine behind the scenes that manages it all for me and I am sad to see it go.
Within seconds, it seems, the ether was filled with posts for alternatives. Lifehacker had a pretty good list of recommendations. And when I mentioned the demise on Twitter last night, I got several more recommendations. Most of those seem to center around Feedly. I’ve glanced at Feedly and it seems alright. But it seems to be more of a RSS reader than an aggregator. What I’m looking for as a replacement to Google Reader is another aggregator. Products like Feedly go above and beyond and I imagine that’s great for some people. But I’m not interested in which RSS items Feedly considers to be “featured” and I’m not interested in the pretty layout it provides. I’m looking for simple aggregation. I’ve already got a UI.
Then, too, I love my RSS reader, which is, as I said, Reeder. I imagine that before July 1, the good folks at Reeder will need to come up with an alternative to its dependency on Google Reader. I wouldn’t want to to give up that application.
Still, despite the recommendations for other products, I am holding out hope. The masses can sometime surprise the big producers, and I think it is possible we might see enough support for Google Reader in the community that Google reverses its decision to do away with it. I’m not counting on this, you understand, but a little wishful thinking never hurt anyone. And so I’m not jumping ship right away. I’m continuing to use Google Reader and I’m continuing to keep my eye on what Google decides to do. Around mid-June or so, I’ll make my final decision.
There’s certainly no rush.