So yes, I woke up to the news that Google Reader is To Shut Down.
Usually I am rather flippant when Google services shut down (remember Google Wave?), and I am usually that dickish mate who responds to my less intelligent mates who whinge about Facebook changing it’s layout with “If you don’t like it, ask for a refund.”.
But gah I am annoyed with this move.
You see I use RSS in 3 ways. Despite the usual way of keeping up with news, I also use it to provide basic content to my Twitter feed quickly and easily, using a combination of Buffer (which is amazing, use it), and IFTTT (which is amazing, use it). It helps keep me relevant and useful even when rushed off my feet.
The second is that, at least with this here blog, RSS is the fourth biggest source of traffic, and has the biggest engagement. I assume many of these people come from Google Reader, so to lose that source is really frustrating.
I have signed the petition on change.org with the unbelievably vain hope the behemoth that is Google listens, but I doubt they will. I am looking at alternatives as we speak (suggestions welcome! Especially those that have recipes already in IFTTT), but I guess this is a timely reminder that you should always always build your services and legacy on your own domain and hosting, and obtain email addresses when marketing. Whilst not 100% secure, it is more secure than building on services that are open to the whims of large organisations.
What are your thoughts on Google Reader Closing?
P.S. Even with this move, RSS isn’t dead. I think WordPress would have to stop offering RSS feeds, and this doesn’t look likely, at least for WordPress 3.6. Feedburner users should be worried, though.