Image credit: juliengron
Many articles and comments talk about the various alternatives and how the lack of an 800 pound gorilla in the room will foster innovation in the RSS reader market. People will try and comment new approaches and ideas in how to consume their RSS feeds and small businesses will try new approaches to capitalize on the large displaced user base. On February 18th of 2013, I looked around for alternatives and found all of them wanting in some form or another, so I stuck with Google Reader at that time. This time, I’m being forced to find a replacement, so I guess I looked a little harder. The one that seems to match my use the most is TheOldReader, a simple Ruby on Rails SaaS that makes heavy use of AJAX (and had significant growing pains the last couple of days). It’s very close to Google Reader, so it might be worth a try.
Several other comments on various boards, forums, and other sites indicate that a lot of people are going to write their own. Honestly, I had the same idea at first, then decided to use a preexisting one and make suggestions to the developers to help shape it to my needs, then I decided it’d be better to just write my own, then I decided to let someone else, … Fighting the “Not Invented Here” syndrome. In the end, there are a lot of RSS readers now, a lot more on the way, and I think my time can be better spent elsewhere. Good luck to those who give it a shot!
The other major category of activity over the sunset of Google Reader is a lot of people claiming that Google has made a huge mistake and will be sorry. That seems like a petty and naïve stance to take. Of the geek friends I’ve talked to, only one other actually uses an RSS reader. The non-geek friends have heard something about google something going away, but have no clue what it is. While the minority is vocal and occasionally makes a good point, it’s very much a minority and I think well outside of domain Google seems to be focusing on lately. Googles reason for existence is to make money and they’ve probably done analysis of direct revenue, indirect revenue and cost before making this decision. Larger companies often even accept a little loss on a pet project just to keep the developers happy.
It’ll be interesting to see what the RSS world looks like when the dust settles.