It seems to me, over the last little while, that Google has been making small – but significant – changes to the services they have available and because I’m part of a large book blogging community, I witness a lot of the effects that these changes have. Early last year, the biggest hoopla was that Google wasn’t allowing Google Friend Connect to be used on non-Blogger sites anymore. That sent everyone into a tizzy to find a similar replacement to build their blog’s network following.
This past week, it was announced on the official Google blog that they would soon be retiring Google Reader as well. To be fair, I don’t use this service as much as many others do. When I remember, I’ll go through it but otherwise I usually just click over to each blog that I follow via the good ol’ fashioned way – by actually bookmarking them on my browser.
Where does that leave all of us who use it to follow all the blogs we love to read every day? There have been numerous alternatives (and Rachelia @ Bookish Comforts has explored the pros & cons of 4 of them) Right now, I’ve tried out TheOldReader and Bloglovin – both of which I like well enough. At the time, TheOldReader was bogged down with traffic so I wasn’t able to import my subscriptions to test it out. Bloglovin is pretty decent, except all the posts that I’ve done that show up on my profile are somehow picking up the images from my “related posts” feed rather than the image(s) from my actual post. That’s a bit annoyingly glitchy. I think the biggest feature that will help me decide which one to use is the layout and ease of navigation, as well as if I’m able to comment on the blogs right from the reader. Super handy if it does.
Sure, I don’t know all the resources that these features pull from but I feel like even if they don’t make any more updates to the reader itself and just let it run as-is, it will allow all the people who currently utilize it to still continue to do so. Same with the removal of GFC on non-Blogger sites. Perhaps its a proprietary thing, or some big business decision to keep the Google/Blogger items under the same umbrella but it seems to have stirred up more ire than not. On the other hand, for a big monopoly of a company like Google to pull certain services, it allows more attention to be shed on the smaller companies and sites that provide similar services. Then the “little guys” also benefit and it becomes a win/win.
What about you? Are you affected greatly by the closure of Google Reader in 3.5 months? Which alternative(s) are you trying out or have already found and are satisfied with?