rip-gr

RIP Google Reader

It might be a little late for writing your obituary, but almost after a week since your demise, the hollowness has just begun to sink in. Dear Google Reader, thanks for being the information aggregator that I always required. Thank you for being there, and specially for being a Google product.

When your daddy wrote this in a blog post, I almost felt that retire could be replaced with kill. The fact that I will never see my subscriptions in the Google Reader interface was just a change one wasn’t used to.

“We launched Google Reader in 2005 in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favorite websites. While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined. So, on July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader. Users and developers interested in RSS alternatives can export their data, including their subscriptions, with Google Takeout over the course of the next four months.”

Now that you are gone, its strange that with so many alternatives buzzing in the Internet sphere that people hardly notice a void. They might not be Google, but they still work and surprisingly come packed in intuitive interfaces. And then your demise also created a new category called the ‘Google Reader replacement’ and a huge number of developers willingly went for the kill. Almost dying Digg saw the scope in the market and launched the Digg Reader. Established AOL announced plans of an AOL Reader. Feedly and BlogLovin have already been there since long.

Bread and butter to many and a reader’s paradise, with you RSS had been a companion. It had been there earlier but hadn’t been recognised. You gave the phenomenon visibility, thank you for that.

Like many application based services that come and go in this fast changing web world, you my friend lived a long fruitful life of eight years. In today’s world of social media dominance, I wonder whether RSS is becoming a shrinking market. I shared your loss with a few friends, and well the major response said, “I have no idea what you are talking about.” Sadly, the past three years of social media dominance have taken over your prowess. Twitter majorly, might be the one to blame. RSS is all about quick and light updates for news and information that matters to you. Twitter, integrated multimedia into the system, subscriptions in the form of accounts you could follow and everything in a constantly updating ‘feed’. I am not referring to it as a complete RSS alternative, it just happens to be doing a lot of damage to RSS’ market.

As a blogger, reader and Internet lover, I will miss you. We shall continue to respect you for what you gave to the Internet. You might leave us as a service, but will continue to stay in our emotional cache and mental history forever and ever. May you rest in peace and ever eternal online glory.



Former Web Editor at DU Beat, Gurman loves everything about the web and new media. Technologically obsessed at heart, anything related to gadgets, Android and keynotes is bound to give her an adrenaline rush. Tweets at @GurmanBhatia.


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