On the Google Reader blog (http://googlereader.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/powering-down-google-reader.html), Google says it is closing the service down for two reasons:
“There are two simple reasons for this: usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products. We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience.”
The news was met with howls of disapproval from fans of the service, of which I am one. I’m not going to lament its passing here but the news tells us something about the tools we use to find and filter information:
1. The developers of filtering tools can shut them down just as easily as they set them up. We – as users – are very much in ‘their’ hands
2. Using RSS readers is a niche activity – as a journalist I need to stay informed so have a need to use the tool.
3. There is no defacto tool for searching and filtering multiple web sources.
Many times I have explained my use of RSS readers to peers, clients and even friends and family only to be met with a blank face. Anecdotally it certainly seems to me that using an RSS reader is a niche activity.
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