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July 9, 2013

Is the Death of Google Reader Bad for Blogs?

Google Reader

Throughout history, things come and go. What was once at the very top, ends up being replaced. When was the last time you made a call from a corded phone? How about listened to the radio? When did you read a newspaper last? The world is constantly evolving, and what’s the norm now may not be so five or 10 years from now.

On July 1, Google Reader saw its demise. Easily one of the most popular RSS readers on the planet, Google claimed declining usage was a factor in their decision to shut it down. Back in March when an announcement was made, bloggers and readers were extremely vocal. Most were very upset, and thought it was an incredibly stupid move on Google’s part.

However, the tech giant has a lot of products and services under its belt. For any business, you need to stay focused, and keep the money rolling in. Unfortunately, Reader simply wasn’t part of a focus anymore. With the shut down, many bloggers started to question what it meant for the industry. Was this the start of a major shift? Are blogs going by the wayside? read more

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October 31, 2011

Google Reader Rolls Out Google+ Integration

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Google Reader with Google Plus

Google on Monday began rolling out a new version of Google Reader which provides a brand-new design with deep Google+ integration.

Taking ques from their recently designed Gmail and Google Calendar makeovers the Google Reader app features a sparse design that highlighted Google+ sharing functionality while still retaining an interface Google Reader fans will find familiar.

The Google +1 button has replaced where the “Like” button use to stand. Google Reader users who are signed in and members of Google+ can also choose which of their Google+ circles to share articles to using Google+ snippets.  read more

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January 30, 2011

Google Updates Google Reader, But Did Anyone Care?

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With most the geek world focused upon Twitter, Facebook or how Egypt virtually disappeared from the internet (thanks in part to a power hungry dictator), many bloggers may have missed news regarding Google Reader’s latest update.

As some of you have noticed, we’ve recently enhanced Reader’s commenting abilities, via an “Options” menu that is present for all conversations about shared items. You can now get a link to the equivalent conversation in Google Buzz, which is handy for passing around a funny thread. If it’s your shared item, you can disable comments entirely, if for example the conversation was about a topic whose time has passed.

Additionally, you can now moderate comments within Reader. If the conversation is on an item that you shared, you have the option to remove comments directly. For all conversations, you can report comments as spam. (Official Google Reader Blog)

This is a great feature to have, although truth be told I’ve have yet to encounter spam or even trolls upon Google Reader’s social sharing network (or rather Google Buzz’s since they “share” space with each other).

Despite it’s smaller size than Twitter or Facebook, Google Reader is far from dead and still boasts an active community of loyal fans (mostly composed of geeks and artists).

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January 24, 2011

RSS Isn’t Dead, Just Ask Google Reader Fans

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It seems like every year or so there are proclamations that RSS is dead thanks to Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr, despite the fact that every social network incorporates RSS within their respective platforms.

Apparently there was some controversy after the Google Reader link within Gmail was replaced with Picasa Web Albums recently. After an enormous outcry erupted on Twitter, Google decided to apologize for the swap by calling it a mistake.

The Reader link at the top of Gmail (and other sites) was accidentally removed. It’s coming back soon, we promise. Don’t panic. (via @GoogleReader)

While it’s understandable why the search engine giant replaced the Google Reader link (as the company is probably trying to boost Picasa’s numbers), it’s even more surprising that users were outraged enough to force Google to bring back the link.

Although most people that I know receive most of their info from Facebook or Twitter,  the fact that there is a sizable crowd passionate about RSS feeds (or at least feed readers) is a good sign for the blogosphere as the latter gives them yet another avenue to monetize their content.

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December 23, 2010

Reeder’s iPad App Copied By Google Reader Rival? UPDATE: MobileRSS Responds

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Unlike Android which has an official Google Reader app, iOS fans have to rely upon the creativity and skill of third party companies to help them manage their feed accounts while on the go.

Apparently Reeder’s skill and creativity for their iPad App have been heavily “borrowed” by Nibirutech who recently announced a new layout for their MobileRSS HD iPad app (as shown in the image below).

More images can be seen over here, although MobileRSS is receiving a lot of scorn on Twitter right now, as many people are seeing the obvious similarities between the two Google Reader apps which are hard to ignore.

MobileRSS HD for iPad seriously rips off @reeder UI. Flattery or obnoxious rip off? (via @BinduWavell)

Thus far Nibirutech has yet to respond to these allegations, although the company may want to decide something soon as they have already lost support for MobileRSS from fellow iOS developers (Instapaper and Read It Later), and risk damaging their reputation further by delaying a response.

Note: We will update this post if we hear anything new from Nibirutech. read more

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December 1, 2010

Google Reader To Android: There’s An App For That!

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It looks like Christmas has come early for Android fans, as the search engine giant has announced that there is now an official Android app for Google Reader fans.

It’s been a long time coming, but the official Google Reader app for Android is finally here. Let’s jump into the features, shall we?

The app supports all the basics you’d expect like unread counts, friends, sharing, liking, and starring, but it also has a whole lot more, including:

Multiple accounts
Synced preferences
Full subscription features (subscribe and search from your phone)
Search (Official Google Reader Blog)

The official Google Reader app for Android apparently supports most (if not all) of the features that made the desktop version of Google Reader famous, including the ability to share to social networks (such as Facebook and Twitter).

Despite boasting a powerful web app, Google’s entrance upon Android is potentially making a few iPhone developers (like Byline and Reeder) nervous, as it probably is only a matter of time before iOS fans receive something similar for their devices.

Do you have an Android device? What are your thoughts regarding Google’s latest app?

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October 16, 2009

Newsie: The gReader App For Impatient Bloggers (iPhone)

newsiecool

After spending a couple weeks in Apple’s purgatory, it looks like Newsie has received Apple’s blessing and is now available for the masses.

Created by Instant Voodoo Magic, Newsie seems to be created for bloggers interested in reading their news NOW rather than waiting for the rest of their feeds to sync first (which can be a pain if you are subscribed to over 300 plus feeds).

Priced at 399 pennies, Newsie’s introduction may seem a little pricey to RSS geeks (both newbie’s and veterans), so if you are wondering whether or not this app is worth it, here is the good, the bad and the buggy about this app. read more

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October 5, 2009

Why I Quit RSS and Why I Might Restart

google-reader-logo

Sometime recently I gave up. After making RSS reading part of my nearly-daily routine for the past four years, I stopped logging in.

I’m not sure exactly when it happened. I had noticed getting through my Google Reader was taking longer and longer, becoming a serious time sink, and I even converted to using Fever to lessen the time needed to go through my feeds, but it wasn’t enough.

I started skipping days regularly and it eventually got to where there was often over a week of backlog waiting for me. Then, I just stopped going. Though Fever and Google Reader are both great apps, I just stopped.

I haven’t logged into an RSS reader for several weeks now and I don’t feel as if I’ve missed anything. I’ve used a hodgepodge of Twitter, Google News and following a few select sites closely to keep on top of everything and, for the most part, it has worked well.

However, I may not be rid of RSS for good, I may be coming back. But if I do it will be for a very different reason and with a very different approach in mind. read more

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July 12, 2009

iPhone App: Buy One, Get One Free? Byline Celebrates First Year Of Life With One Day Sale

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bylinelogonew

Despite the fierce competition among Google Reader Apps, Byline continues to enjoy a healthy lead over its rivals as the dominant gReader app of choice.

While its primary features may not have changed since the launch of Byline 2.0, its speed has as I have yet to find another gReader app that matches Byline’s speed as far as synching goes (note: Gazette 2.0 is claiming to be faster—I’ll put them each to the test later on).

read more

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May 30, 2009

iPhone: I’ve Fallen In Love With Google Reader Again (Thanks To RSS Flash G)

Ever since the birth of Twitter (and the various Twitter Apps like Twitterific, Tweetie and Twittelator), I have had a falling out with reading news via Google Reader, due to the fact that I could only share items with my fellow gReader geeks (and not my Twitterholic buddies).

While hooking up my Google Reader account with Friendfeed helped solve this issue, I always loathed the “RSS delay” which resulted in 10 tweets posted at once, instead of tweeting whenever I discovered an interesting link.

Thanks to an iPhone app by Ebisu Soft called RSS Flash G, I can easily share interesting links directly with the twitterverse, as well as my Google cultic friends on gReader.

While RSS Flash G does have a limited free version available, you might want check out this review of the Good, the Bad and the Buggy before deciding to part ways with 299 pennies. read more

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