SmoothSpan Blog

For Executives, Entrepreneurs, and other Digerati who need to know about SaaS and Web 2.0.

Google, If You Think I’ll Move From Reader to Another Google Product, Drop Dead

Posted by Bob Warfield on March 14, 2013

rssJust got the news that Google Reader will be turned off July 1.  Realistically, I should’ve moved after the first time they brain-damaged it and I railed about it, but I stupidly stuck to it.  Now I’m sorry.

I’m not the only one, Om Malik says it is his second most used Google application after Gmail.  Ditto for me.  I’d like to see Google publish the real figures on the supposed decline in Reader usage.  I bet it was still huge.  This is just a typical big company move to push their customers, I mean products, into toeing the line they’ve drawn.  They want us to go to Google+ or some darned thing where they can sell more ads or beat some competitor into submission.

What will be next, Google, turning off GMail?  Or are you too intent on bashing Microsoft over the head with it?

I’m tired of companies treating me like the product instead of the customer when they’re ad-driven.  It’s a sham and a bait-and-switch.  It is the root of all the evil Google claims they will never do, and keep doing with ever increasing frequency.

If you think I’ll move from Reader to some other Google product, drop dead.  It ain’t gonna happen.  From here on out, I will look to minimize my involvement with anything new from Google.  In fact, I’m shutting down my PPC advertising as soon as I am done here.  At least where that is concerned, I am a customer, and I can vote with my pocket book.  Learn how to save your data out of reader here.

This is bad news indeed for bloggers all over the world, who should find their own ways of letting Google know they’re not pleased.

A Modest Proposal

What Google should have done, is ceded Reader, source code and all, to a company that actually values Blogs and Bloggers.  How about the WordPress folks?  They should take it up, or failing that, create a WordPress theme that emulates reader and make it available for free via  Matt Mullenweg, are you listening?

Failing WordPress, either Microsoft or Yahoo should dive onto this just for the customer goodwill.  I bet both companies would get back folks who haven’t been enthusiastic about them for years if they could field a good replacement within 3 years.


A quick perusal of the comments in these various blog (blog == duh!) posts about Google Reader tells me there are lots of unhappy products, um customers, out there when it comes to this latest Google decree:





And, here is a list of potential alternatives:

OldReader:  Very slow as I write this.

NewsBlur:  Down as I write this.

Rolio:  Awesomely slow as I write this.

GoodNoows:  Performance not too bad.

There are likely more, but I am too disgusted to root around for them right now.  Notice I’ve commented on site status, which has been poor this afternoon, no doubt due to the tiny few who still used Reader (yeah, right, there are zillions of us) looking for alternatives.  I haven’t looked into any of them yet, so I have no favorites to recommend.  These sites are all about to get a huge windfall of users as they choose alternatives, but it remains to be seen which ones can really take up the exodus.

There’s also things like Feedly, NetVibes and Flipboard, but I don’t want that ilk.  I don’t want a magazine.  I subscribe to nearly 200 blogs and need a power tool that lets me triage minimalist summary lists the way Reader did so I can get right to the good stuff.  I also don’t need an iOS or other mobile app.  While I often access Reader via my iPad, I also want desktop access without the nuisance of an app.


9 Responses to “Google, If You Think I’ll Move From Reader to Another Google Product, Drop Dead”

  1. nmehta0 said

    Hey Bob – Why don’t you create a reader? I bet you that if you make it minimalistic, without the fluffy magazine-like format (e.g. Pulse or clipboard) and high performance then you will get a huge pickup.

  2. scatmania said

    Damn, I wish they’d open-sourced it too.

    I got lucky: I too, got pissed off when they started breaking it, but I managed to jumped ship to Tiny Tiny RSS, and I’m glad I did. If you ARE looking for an open-source alternative, it’s probably the best thing you’ll find.

    NewsBlur’s the most “Google Reader-like” alternative (although you’re right that it’s under incredibly heavy load right now, as the Reader refugees pile on to it). If you’re still having difficulty getting in, try going to – that’s working for some people.

    I’ve blogged about a handful of my favourite Google Reader alternatives, and how to make the switch (including extracting all of your feeds for import into your new reader). If you’re interested, take a peep at

  3. […] “Why didn’t they open-source it?”, complains the SmoothSpan blog […]

  4. […] Continue Reading: Google, If You Think I'll Move From Reader to Another Google … […]

  5. emiratesmac said


    For me it’s even that much about Google Reader. I’d say that 90% or more of my interaction with Google Reader is via the gReader Pro app on my smartphone. Feedly has said that it is building a clone of the Google Reader API. If that means that I can keep using gReader, I think I’ll be happy.

  6. Same here .. hundreds of RRS feeds, stars and love that minimalistic UI, full screen viewing and fast reading with keystrokes.
    Looks like feedly is taking over that functionality though. Read:

  7. […] some imaginary scenario, firing 8 million influential users is exactly what Google is doing as it shelves Google Reader in less than a month.  Google is firing the likes of Om Malik, for example, and Seth Godin who says RSS is still the […]

  8. […] some imaginary scenario, firing 8 million influential users is exactly what Google is doing as it shelves Google Reader in less than a month.  Google is firing the likes of Om Malik, for example, and Seth Godin who says RSS is still the […]

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