On March 13th, Google announced it would retire Google Reader on July 1st 2013 because of declining usage and a refocus on other areas of their business.
I know we are a minority who actually use RSS feeds, regardless of why we do so. In a sense it comes as no big surprise that Google would cut those services or products that don’t reach enough users, or don’t have the potential to generate any revenues. However as a loyal, very loyal, user, their decision to end this service is not only very disappointing, but it’s pretty much sabotaged my well-oiled news reading, collecting, curating and sharing routine.
I know there are many other RSS readers out there, but NONE come close to Google Reader quite unfortunately. This means I don’t just needs to switch to a different reader and adjust to a different layout, but that I need to find alternatives for a number of different uses I got out of it while saving tremendous amounts of time.
Let me outline how I use Google Reader in this 3-part series.
As I’ve written a long while back, I have unsubscribed from every newsletter I used to receive. That was roughly 40 newsletters all relevant to marketing, digital advertising, mobile, search, social media, and so on. To be truthful, I still receive 3-4 newsletters in my Outlook mailbox but those are personal interest unrelated to the bulk of what I try to keep up with. As I realized I would actually easily keep up daily with those 40 newsletters turned into RSS feeds, using Google Reader, I added more and more. Feeds like the IAB Smartbrief and such lead me to find other great gems which I added to my reader. I now keep up daily with over 200 feeds, all about roughly the same topics, each delivering me with anywhere between 2-3 articles a week to 10-15 daily.
Of course I do not read everything in detail at once that would be too daunting. Rather I’ve set up my reader as a giant newspaper with tons of sections I care about, or categories. That’s why I love my reader; it allows me to split my readings into categories. I have one category for all my Google Alerts about myself, my job and the people I work with, our board of directors and our principal initiatives. I have another for all the news and blog articles from our IAB Canada members. Then I have categories for every topic I am interested in from general online marketing and advertising, video, mobile, search, email marketing, social media, location based services, industry events, ad operations, statistics, programmatic buying, and the list goes on and on.
So far, I’ve set all this up, the feeds and the categories, online though my computer. My reader is my home page.
Tomorrow I’ll explain how I actually do my reading and sharing.