Google Reader Apocalypse / Revolt

October 31, 2011

The day has come and the Google Reader blog has the rollout post and it’s a lot worse than I imagined.

Not only did they obliterate all of the conversations I’ve had with friends within the service. They’ve removed the notes I’ve made on shared posts. Technically both have been preserved through some strange Buzz Google+ connection but not for my anymore (more on that later). Google Buzz is also being shut down in January so any conversation that continues there is just going to be dropped, I don’t like Buzz but at least it could have helped continue what was striped out of Google Reader today.

Another repercussion from Reader changes have been API changes, changes already affected this blog. I didn’t even notice this but all my “notes” on shared posts from the last two months haven’t been push to this site. Partly my fault for not noticing the API changes but it goes to show how much I’ve relied on Google Reader to share.

Now that the sharing functionality has been completely overhauled and replaced by Google+ I’m at a lose. Even Google knows people are going to leave.

We hope you’ll like the new Reader (and Google+) as much as we do, but we understand that some of you may not. Retiring Reader’s sharing features wasn’t a decision that we made lightly, but in the end, it helps us focus on fewer areas, and build an even better experience across all of Google.

If you decide to stay, then please do send us your feedback on today’s set of improvements. Google+ is still in its early days, after all, and we’re constantly working on improvements. If, however, you decide that the product is no longer for you, then please do take advantage of Reader’s subscription export feature. Regardless where you go, we want to make sure you can take your data with you.

It sounds as if they want people to stop using Reader altogether, move to Google+ and call it a day. Instead they’re slowly moving people over to Google+, which I’ll guess will encompass all existing and future Google products — including Google Reader.

Why not just use Google+? There are a ton of reasons not to, here are the big three:

I don’t trust the service – mostly because of how they handled the Reader changes. I don’t trust if I put a bunch of my content (opinion, comments, shares, etc. ) they wont pull this type of thing again.

They’re forcing people to use the service – I don’t like the idea that they’re forcing me to move if I want to keep a piece of what I loved about Google Reader, including the content that I helped create.

No APIs – APIs are coming but they’re not hear yet not do we know for certain what’s possible for a non featured developer.

Instead I’m going to still use Google Reader through the wonderful iOS and OSX Reeder apps. I’ll assume Google Reader wont drop the syncing API for a year or so, I really don’t trust Google to keep that API open based on the changes they’ve already made.

I’ve also “disabled” Buzz, for my gmail account, which ended up breaking that strange integration I talked about earlier. I don’t want to spend a minute more on that service if it’s planning on being shut down, even if it allows me to finish off some of the conversations that were active (for me) until this am.

If there’s any good out of this, it’s that I’ll try to blog more. I’m also considering facebook for those private circles for conversations that I don’t want public but facebook has a lot of faults too.

Now I know exactly how that community at friendfeed felt when their service was shutdown.