Google Reader Should Learn from Coke Classic
Google has just announced it will discontinue Google Reader product from July 2013. Already more than 100,000 people have filed a petition asking Google to cancel the closing of Google Reader.
I am a user of Google Reader and love it. But I understand why Google thinks of this product as not a priority anymore. Basically there was a time that every Internet user wished to have their own web site. That was when Geocities created a service that enabled users to make free web sites. Later Yahoo bought Geocities. A few years ago with the success of blogs, the interest in creating web sites subsided and finally the biggest such service, i.e. Yahoo Geocities was shut down. Also services which helped people read multiple web sites vanished. A similar event is happening today. Users are moving away from the blogs to Facebook and other social networks like Google+. Products such as Google Reader were created to help the bloggers to aggregate RSS feeds from other blogs to keep abreast of so many blogs. But now people need aggregators to read many Facebook accounts of their friends rather than reading blogs. So perhaps Google has started making such products.
But Google needs to consider two factors in this assessment:
1. Many people including myself did not mainly use Google Reader to read blogs. Actually RSS feeds are available for so many different products including web sites and social networks. And just like radio, RSS is going to remain on the Internet although it is used by more sophisticated users.
2. Although aggregators for Facebook and Google+ are needed but users of the social networks mostly do not like to use public settings for their posts which is a different habit from the way blog makers act. Thus the issue of aggregating for such services may not be as forthcoming as we may think and RSS may still be the way to go for those who like to broadcast their stories on social networks by making them public and unfortunately Facebook's support of RSS feeds has been dwindling not serving those customers. Maybe Google+ can provide that kind of service as a competitive edge and incidentally that strategy can fit into Google Reader perfectly.
Google Reader can support web sites and blogs as well as the Google+ accounts and YouTube and any other social media that supports RSS which may force Facebook to support RSS feeds better. Not stopping Google Reader is not just to the benefit of someone like me-- the user -- but it will be a good source of income for Google in the future.
I hope Google listens to its users the same way Coca Cola did when it invented Coke Classic. Coca Cola benefited from listening to its customers.
Sam Ghandchi, Editor/Publisher
March 16, 2013