Now, thinking a bit more on the subject, shutting down Google Reader will hurt Google Plus (aka Google+ or G+) in a way that they might not anticipate.
I use Google Reader for so long that I don't even remember what was there before that. And I have built quite a list of sites that I follow (regularly or semi-regularly) and they are most of my news feed. When I see something "newsworthy" or interesting to me, I share it with the people that I know. (I also have some economy-related feeds that I am reading, but these not got shared through G+, since I don't know how to split my interests into 2 streams - one is Tech and one is Economics, but that's another story). People that I share items with do the same -- they share only what they think is worth to read. This, in essence gives me best picks off the wast news-sphere that I cannot cover even if it would be a full-time job. These small posts-sharing sub-communities born and live by the feeds, and they might be invisible to outsider, but they do exist, and many people value them.
Quite a big part of my G+ circles are these people - people that sharing things interesting to me (we have some common interests), or people who are the news (like +Richard Branson
), or well-thought people with may be different view on reality (like +Dalai Lama
). I probably wouldn't be able to find some of them unless people that I followed shared it. ( Talk about chained reaction in community building.)
Yes, the sharing
media was changing over time - first it was in the Reader itself, then it became Buzz, now it is G+ circles. The water well stayed the same over all these years, the same compact, fast, no too many frills Google Reader, allowing getting through hundreds (I am not kidding) of news items quickly. Yes, I looked for other RSS aggregation that might provide the same functionality, but always came back to Reader. The fact that Reader is integrated into whole Google's current offering makes is even more attractive.
Google, please don't kill the Reader. You will hurt existing communities (G+ or semi-private ones) in a way that you might not expect. #reader #savegooglereader