Sunday, 17 March 2013

Google Reader - RIP. Now go try something new!

There’s been a lot of column inches online and offline dedicated to the demise of Google Reader. Lots of sadness.

Lots of outrage, too. Mainly from bloggers, who seem to think that this, the final putrid gasp from the fetid corpse that is RSS, signals the end of their blog, and will suddenly cut off their readership, who won’t be able to find their content anymore.

I think it’s a good thing.

Speaking from my perspective, the audience that I receive via RSS has always been incredibly small. I don’t even think it’s in double figures. And that’s not something I’m particularly ashamed of.

I like having regular readers to my blog. Most of my readers come from one of a number of non-rss sources: Hacker News, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Stumbleupon and G+. Maybe Reddit if I’m lucky.

I would much rather have somebody come through to my blog post whilst they are actively out seeking relevant content, rather than passively reading my blog posts via their RSS reader.

I get much more value out of cultivating a social media presence than encouraging people to sign up via my RSS feed.

You may say that’s a bit of a no-brainer given my profession, but you’d be wrong. I do rely on aggregation services and RSS readers like Feedly and Prismatic to get my daily news fix throughout the day. But where am I increasingly finding the really interesting content?

  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Hacker News
  • Facebook
  • G+
  • LinkedIn

When somebody shares a piece of content, they are actively participating in the process. They are interested enough in the content to not only read it, but also share it. This makes me much happier than when somebody skim-reads my entry in Reader.

When I am logged into an RSS reader, I am not always in ‘share mode’ - I’m in ‘passive consumption’ mode, and I want to binge on as many blogs as humanly possible, in lots of different subjects.

I get more of a kick out of people participating in the sharing of my content than simply consuming it and then moving on.

What about you? What do you think? What does the death of Google Reader mean for your blog and readership?