98 words that sum up why Google Reader beats Twitter

by Stephen Tall on March 14, 2013

Google Reader is to close on 1st July, it was announced today. Here‘s Mashable’s Chris Taylor encapsulating why this is such bad news:

Google Reader is a tremendously useful product; there’s almost nothing like it. When Twitter is full of too much snark and not enough signal, when Flipboard and Pulse and other newsreading apps give you too many pretty pictures and not enough stories per page, there’s Google Reader.

It isn’t particularly pretty. It isn’t supposed to be. It’s line after line of headlines, and you click on them if you want to read the story. There’s nothing else that does that.

In short, Google Reader is like a straight, hard shot of neat news, no ice and no chaser.

Yep.

You can sign the petition here to let Google know how much Google Reader is appreciated. (And yes, I know it’s a free service and they’ve every right to kill it whenever they want. But as they’ve never asked me if I’d want to pay for it there’s no harm in letting them know there is a market out there for a top-quality RSS service that synchs across mobiles / tablets / PCs.)

Google Reader’s demise highlights an interesting cultural difference between the US and UK: in the US, news-based sites like Buzzfeed and Reddit are major, major drivers of web-traffic. Here in the UK, social media sites like Twitter and Facebook dominate. Why?

PS: I see that back in September 2010 I asked the question – to which the answer was clearly no – whether the closure of ‘Bloglines’ marks the death of RSS