On March 13, 2013, Google’s official blog announced that they are removing Google Reader by July 1, 2013. But Google Reader power users, do not fret! While we all have a love affair with Google products, change in the (SaaS) software as a service world is inevitable! Change is a good thing. And if we keep our eyes open, you’ll notice that solutions are nearby.
How I’ve been secretly using Google+ as my RSS Reader
I’ve been using Google+ as my RSS reader for the past 6 weeks now. (6 weeks ago, I was discouraged with sharing this publicly as an article because I did not want content scrapers to rip off my idea for their own). With a new community called IT Social, that I co-founded with +Daniel Imbellino and +Joseph Solares, I’m ready to share and grow with my Google+ family.
1. Creating theme based circles:
I have several theme based circles that I created over specific topics and niches like favorite tech writers, favorite engagers, Google+ knowledge sharers (such as +Denis Labelle +Thomas Morfew), and specific brands I group by category.
2. Toggling between circles:
Instead of getting lost in the [All] main stream on Google+, I toggle between my topic-based circles. Depending on my mood of what I want to read, or what I’d like to be informed upon, I toggle into that circle either on the desktop site or on my Google+ app.
3. Ingesting the info like an RSS reader
While the Google+ circles are not RSS readers, chances are people are linking to the articles I want to read. What’s more fun is that I get to read insights around those articles by people whose insights I either trust, value or entertain in some way. Just today, I came across an article that summarized my use of Google+ these past few weeks. I enjoy Jesse Wojdylo’s insight that bringing Google Reader onto Google+ would maintain the perfect reading and engagement environment.
4. Never leave the Google+ environment
You can get all your links, conversations, and circles in one place. Should you want to click on the linked article of a conversation, you can do so on the Google+ desktop page or mobile app.
5. My projections on Google’s moves
After working in the SaaS industry, I’ve understood that change is inevitable. It is part of the product lifecycle of any software that wants to improve and serve its end users. While change can be bitter, it is also a sign of positive transformation and stability.
Google is not always transparent with the moves they make so it is hard to understand what they do and why they do it. But for the insightful end users who reflect on Google’s strategies, you’ll notice that Google is slowly but surely uniting the social experience with the content consuming experience. With Google Authorship, they have already tied in the content creator experience with the social experience.
My final 2 cents here:
To my fellow end users, don’t fret. Just learn what your needs are from these products. See where you can reinforce meeting those needs in other Google product UI.
While I’m not a developer, I grasp that the end of Google’s feedburner and RSS reader service means clogging less APIs* and uniting all activity into Google+. This will allow the web to be less cluttered and allow activity to be concentrated through the Google+ portal. It may be a way to organize the web once again.
*Developers, you can jump in and provide more technical feedback here.