Home World’s Youngest Leading Social Network Eats World’s Last Major RSS Reader: Google Reader Gets Plussed

World’s Youngest Leading Social Network Eats World’s Last Major RSS Reader: Google Reader Gets Plussed

Why did Google Plus gain more users in a few weeks than Google Reader has in years? That’s a question for the ages – but it’s clear that Google’s strategy of infusing Google Plus functionality into all things will sometimes come at a cost. Google announced today that Reader will soon undergo a revamp and lose its stand-alone social networking-type features in favor of integration into Google Plus. The company knows that not everyone will be happy about that. Hope you like Google Plus’s various policies, users of Reader, Docs, YouTube, etc. because that’s soon going to be the only game in Googletown.

If you’re a Google Reader user who likes sharing links with other Google Reader users, you’re going to have to get used to +1ing everything instead. Most people aren’t Google Reader users, though. Most people have not experienced the life-changing, world-affirming joy that is a good RSS reading experience. Google Plus has already caught on far, far more than Google Reader. It’s sad, but it’s true.

Above: No more sharing the blog of Mr. Hank Williams, WhyDoesEverythingSuck.com, it must now be +1ed.

What do you think of this change? As a non-user of Google Reader myself (I use Fever, SimplePie, Feedly, Flipboard, App Notifications and other services to read my RSS feeds), I feel a mix of cynicism and indifference.

I’d love to know what other readers here think about this and what it all means, though.

RSS, if you’re not familiar, is an acronym for Really Simple Syndication, a technology that delivers streams of content from a nearly infinite variety of selected sources typically into a central reading experience like an RSS reader.

It is like a magic spell that calls together knowledge from the winds of the Internet into a swirling, dancing chimera that sits in your hand and shares with you the whispers of more people than you’ll ever meet in your life – on demand at any time. RSS readers are instruments of magic. When you use them you become a magician. May they proliferate across the land.

I guess if you want to bonk the feeds over the head with a crude +1, Facebook Like or other undifferentiated grunt, that’s your business.

Disclosure: Google Plus bought my love by including me on its list of Suggested Users, sending me tens of thousands of new friends. I am now in love with it and incapable of uncompromised critical thought about it.

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