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Shutting down Google Reader: Bad Move

Google has decided to kill Google Reader.

Personally, I'm a hard user of Google Reader. I use to sift through over a 100 blogs and websites everyday. So, I'll be hard-hit by this development. I have time till July 1st to move all my subscriptions to a different platform. There are a few options out there that are good replacements, like Feedly and NetVibes. But, I personally recommend The Old Reader, which has an interface very similar to Google Reader and allows you to import all your subscriptions from Google Reader.

Why is Google Reader so important?

Google Reader allows me to view the posts from a huge number of blogs and websites at one place, in chronological order (or any other order for that matter). This means that I can just go to Google Reader instead of going to all those websites. Of course, there are other alternatives. You could subscribe to newsletters that curate content and show you the important articles under any topic you want right in your inbox. You can follow the right people on Twitter who share links to the articles you might be interested in reading. You could do the same on Facebook.

These options are for light users.

If you're a hard user like me, you'd want to be able to sift through all the articles available and decide for yourself as to what is important and what is not. It is just not the same when you're relying on someone else to find and share content so that you can read it.

Google Reader is like a customised newspaper.

We all read newspapers. The beauty of a newspaper is that it allows you to read all important articles at one place. But the experience is limited by the fact that the newspaper is printed with thousands of people as potential audience. Its not made just for you. But Google Reader is. Because you choose what needs to be printed in this newspaper called Google Reader.

It might not be making any money for Google. But it is still very valuable in my opinion as Google Reader can identify what I subscribe to, what I actually read and what I share. While this is valuable information at an individual level, it offers valuable information at a community level as well by identifying influencers (the people who have a considerable audience to what they share).

If Google doesn't see business sense in this, that's just too bad. The other RSS feed readers have the opportunity to monetize this value.

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