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back to article Reader slain? 'Even the Google apologists on G+ are p****d off'

This was the week in which the internet discovered that, astonishingly, everybody on the planet is a fan of Google Reader after Google announced it was switching off the service because no one wanted it. At least, it seemed everybody is a fan of it, judging by the outpouring of rage across the web at the news. The Chocolate …

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Anonymous Coward

On google reader / other google project dumps

Considering google are 'do no evil' and want to 'embrace the open source community' wouldn't it be apt for them to, rather than completely close all of their apps when they axe them, make them FOSS instead? Create an openGoogle department to handle management of the projects if need be.

That's at least better than apps people use and years of development disappearing completely.

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Re: On google reader / other google project dumps

"Considering google are 'do no evil' and want to 'embrace the open source community'... "

Do you actually believe that?

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Big Brother

Re: On google reader / other google project dumps

Yes, and pigs might fly. The "do no evil" company are dropping open standards by the day, such the modicum of support that they had for open standards such as CalDAV/CardDAV.

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Anonymous Coward

People are idiotic sheep

It's now fashionable to love Google Reader, despite many of the people complaining never actually used it.

PS3 OtherOS all over again...

I wonder who could be pulling the strings this time around.... Oh yes, the same ones as last time.... Good old Microsoft....

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Unhappy

An idiotic sheep baaaaas ...

I'm complaining and i have used it for years across all my devices. Change is an unhelpful burden.

Which is the point - Google have lost me as a client before by changing/updating products without a thought of how their current users might be screwed up. Here is an instance when NO CHANGE is good. It is a RSS aggregator full stop. Nothing is going to change in RSS or users reading habits that requires change. Google don't have to spend a bean on development. The cost is the servers and with such a lightweight app this is minimal especially as the updating is probably scheduled to use the dips in demand of its server farms.

I suspect turning them off and suffering the aftermath is more effort than keeping them on till the last Reader user has twittered away. Let's hope the head honchos clock this and beat a welcome retreat.

Trusting Google is a USP that is worth more than Reader's cost.

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Re: An idiotic sheep baaaaas ...

I understand why google does this but I think it would be interesting if they did a trial of turning it into a subscription service. I know a paid service is a long way from what google does but given the shift to mobile marketing being a little bumpy (more so for fb) a trial on a relatively popular service for a year would unlikely kill them and could provide an interesting oppertunity for additional revenue. It has to be worth a shot just to see. They do charge for biz access / accounts so it isn't unprecedented.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: An idiotic sheep baaaaas ...

how much did you pay to use Google Reader?

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idle playthings - WAS: An idiotic sheep baaaaas ...

I think you are overlooking the obvious. There's a team that just became redundant. With fewer applications, more idle hands, and Devil's work to do, it won't be long before doing no evil becomes impractical.

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Coffee/keyboard

Use a native RSS reader that way you can keep reading stuff off line.

FeedReader 3.14 still sits in the Win7 tray fine and dandy.

Feedburner is quite useful though - hope it doesn't get culled.

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"Use a native RSS reader that way you can keep reading stuff off line."

I used to before I switched to Reader six or seven years ago. The reason for the switch being I can scan feeds at work (on Win7), on the way home on my phone and at home (on Lubuntu) and it all works.

Whatever I move to it won't be a native client.

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"Use a native RSS reader ..."

Offline RSS readers have the tendency to miss things - when lots of stuff happens at once or you are on vacations, for example. That makes them good only for for general news and such. And for general news - splash and sensation - we already have TV and tabloids.

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Bronze badge

Oh right, it's an RSS reader

My mail client does that. UseNet too if you want it. Also some options I never bothered to look up what they were.

RSS needs a dedicated client because...?

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Because some people don't need a local mail client and don't want bloat if all they need is RSS feed reading.

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Re: Oh right, it's an RSS reader

Because it syncs across your devices, is minimal as can be and actually works really well.

I've spent some time trying out the alternatives yesterday but so far everything seems to think that a picture is worth a thousand words, but when it comes to a mobile phone screen, I'd rather have a scrolling list of headlines.

Feedly, I'm looking at you, that widget is awful.

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Re: Oh right, it's an RSS reader

I've installed Fever (feedafever.com). My server, my rules. Screw this free-because-I'm-the-product lark, I'm reclaiming my data (or at least everything generated from now on).

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Re: Oh right, it's an RSS reader

Furthermore, if your device that aggregates feeds is offline for several days, a cloud-based service will still work and collect all the feeds for you, even if the source has since dropped the article from the feed. With a local client, your computer must be on and online all the time just to make sure no articles are missed.

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FAIL

"There are two simple reasons for this: usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products. We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience."

Except of course those who are using Google Reader.

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JDX
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Even the Google apologists on G+ are pissed.

Well people on G+ are generally Google fan[boi]s so of course they'll use Reader.

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Been using iGoogle for similar

I've been using iGoogle as my homepage for years, mainly to keep an eye on a whole load of RSS feeds.

But... Google killed it on mobile ages ago, you now just get the standard Google mobile page, and they are killing it on desktop browsers in November. Need to find a new homepage.

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Thumb Up

Re: Been using iGoogle for similar

I switched to Netvibes (netvibes.com) when the iGoogle closure was announced. At the moment there's a banner on the site warning of latency, presumably due to the exodus of Reader users.

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h3
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The two most important things I was using from Google are now gone.

(Exchange Activesync with gmail / None annoying search that works decently. (It is annoying all the features I actually use seem to be moved as if no one uses them but ones I have never used are stuck on that god awful black bar).

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Hooray for 5 Point...

Now lets work on a world-wide ban for Google Glass.

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SW

Transferring from a supposedly non-popular aggregator

Ha, just imported my subscriptions into theoldreader.com

Result =

Thank you for uploading your OPML file. We will soon start importing your subscriptions, which might take up to several hours depending on the amount of feeds you have.

There are 20536 users in the import queue ahead of you.

===========

Yep, that's 20k users in front of me, all coming from a supposedly under utilised service !!!

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Re: Transferring from a supposedly non-popular aggregator

Thanks for the update.

The Oldreader got lots of attention right now, because it was built and advertised as an alternative to the Google Reader. And obviously, now that the EOL was announced, users started migrating in droves.

Again, thanks for the update. I haven't tried it myself yet - because few days when I learned about the service, even their static start page was slashdotted. I'll wait couple of more weeks before trying to import my subscription.

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Anonymous Coward

I love the outrage when someone who has been providing a free service for years decides not to anymore.

And where better to vent that spleen than the internet. Honestly people, what do you expect for the naff all that you have paid for this service??

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Your reasoning is quite flawed. The service may have been free, but it's something that I'm sure many users would pay a nominal fee to use if given the chance. I know I sure would. The problem is that's not even an option.

Google is attempting to shift the world to the cloud, particularly with their Chromebooks where local applications aren't even allowed, and yet they keep killing their cloud services. Supposedly it's an underutilized service. Is that really true? I know I didn't visit reader.google.com itself often at all, but I use Reader on iGoogle and on my Android devices. Even my mother uses it on her tablet to keep up with the local news.

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Exactly. I'm already paying some low annual fee for extra ~20GB space on Google, they could throw this bone at least for us, paying customers.

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"I love the outrage when someone who has been providing a free service for years decides not to anymore."

Outrage is because Google now consistently does promotes the stuff nobody wants and terminates the stuff some/many actually do want.

Reader isn't the first and not the most popular thing they have killed.

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I love the outrage when someone who has been providing a free service for years decides not to anymore.

Obvious sophomore is obvious. Come back when you've learned to think critically.

Paying for something is not a prerequisite for decrying its loss, as even a moment's reflection reveals. Normal people regret many sympathetic losses - losing something in which they have no actual investment - over the course of their lives, including the deaths of people they don't know, the destruction of historically- or culturally-significant artifacts, and so on.

Conversely, it's reasonable to argue that Google, or any other entity, is under some ethical weight to maintain services they provide and promote, regardless of whether or how users pay for them. Google did not create Reader accidentally; they made a choice to provide it, and in so doing they incur a responsibility. (That responsibility is not absolute, but few are; this is another point that often seems to escape the sophomores.) While their motives are difficult to document, it's plausible that they made Reader available to promote their brand and site; to draw more users and encourage them to try other services, some of which are profitable; to promote goodwill as part of general public relations; to increase overall traffic to Google sites so they can justify charging more for services that are for-profit (ie, advertising); to acquire data about online reading habits and preferences.

I've never used Reader, and have no interest in it. Google have a right to stop providing it - as far as I know, there are no contractual obligations otherwise. And users of Reader do not have a right, natural or legal, to compel Google to continue providing it. But they most certainly do have both a right to complain, and grounds for doing so.

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Thumb Down

Google is getting worse and worse ever since Larry Page decided to replace Schmidt with himself...

...seriously, with every one of these 'spring cleanings' make an even bigger mess and so far Page's track record isn't much to write home about: their stock was pretty much flat from his takeover until last Summer, they have very little presence in living rooms, they have nothing in health (even killed their health record db product) but he's ridiculously obsessed with G+, to the point that Google started force-feeding us with G+...

...which was a huge mistake - I was already pissed when it turned out to be a near-impossible thing to share my videos from G+ on FB -, the forced-membership thing finally triggered the nuclear option: I have closed every service account with Google I didn't really use including G+ and I 'rage-opted-out' from every data sharing I could, installed extensions to keep me out etc etc, I only kept a handful of services (Gmail/Calendar/Drive, Maps, Voice, YT and Reader, I think.) It's also utterly idiotic, counter-productive, this forced-G+ crap: I use an Android phone and I NEVER leave any feedback to to the fact it requires G+, period. I want nothing to do with G+, I'm already thinking scaling back FB to the bare minimum, sort of like a contact mgmt app.

The closure of Reader just gave me another pause, it's clear that I need to start thinking about setting up another 'base' account - Mr Page clearly has no problem taking a giant sh!t on us if he cannot monetize our use/usage/patterns/info (because make no mistake, that's the ONLY reason they are closing it)... too bad, Google, too bad you are now also signing up for the stupid-arrogant business model.

Anyhow, nothing lasts forever, Google was great while it was great, now it's just turning into another scumbag corporation - time to start looking for another, less erratic 'base' provider.

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Unhappy

I know a few bars like that.

They don't have a doorman.

The regulars handle their own security.

They don't call the police.

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Cash Value.

"A Change.org petition urging the company to change its mind got nearly 57,000 signatures in under 24 hours"

If all those signatures each represent one actual Google Reader user, and if we very reasonably estimate the contribution to Google's revenue streams of each of those Google Reader users as 1/10 of a cent, we see that those 57,000 signatures translate into $57.

And you people expect how much in return for your pennies?

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Flame

"Wow, Microsoft. Yet again #hotmail is down...You're making the decision about whether to switch fully to gmail or not very easy."

How many spring cleanings you think GMail would survive?

Otherwise, as a long term Reader user, I'm slightly disappointed. "Disappointed" because it was a good product 5 years ago and I'm still using it and alternatives are all miss the point (and overloaded with the "social" carp - while I only want to read the darn news). Only "slightly" disappointed because Reader could have been so much more, but Google has always kept it suffocated: advanced search and saved searches never materialized, tagging was too dumb to be useful, some uncofigurable interface tweaks never became really useful.

IMO Google right now is in race to the bottom. I see it on the desktop - and I see it now in the Android. As a fresh Android smartphone user I was surprised how much non-Google software manufacturer has preinstalled. After trying the Google originals I have realized that bare Android, loaded with exclusively Google apps, right now is as useful as say bare Win95. Lots of stuff - shiny interface - but very little substance beneath.

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Is Google Trying To Kill RSS?

I have read an explanation for this: because RSS feeds allow people see web content without seeing the webpage and - most importantly and obviously - without seeing the ads on that webpage, Google does not like RSS and would like to eliminate it. I have read that they are eliminating it from all their products but I have no idea if that is true or not.

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