Google Petitioned By Fans Of Google Reader To Reconsider Shutdown

Will Mountain View listen to the people?

Yesterday's shock decision by Google to shutter its RSS aggregator Google Reader has set the cat amongst the pigeons. A petition, started by Daniel Lewis, is up on, urging the Google Mothership to put its spring-cleaning engines into reverse mode and save the Google Reader, has already heading towards 25,000 signatories.

The Next Web blames Reader's demise on Google+, Goog's social media service, quoting Brian Shih, a former Google Reader product manager.

"Reader has been fighting for approval/survival at Google since long before I was a PM for the product. I’m pretty sure Reader was threatened with de-staffing at least three times before it actually happened. It was often for some reason related to social:

2008 – let’s pull the team off to build OpenSocial. 2009 – let’s pull the team off to build Buzz. 2010 – let’s pull the team off to build Google+.

It turns out they decided to kill it anyway in 2010, even though most of the engineers opted against joining G+. Ironically, I think the reason Google always wanted to pull the Reader team off to build these other social products was that the Reader team actually understood social (and tried a lot of experiments over the years that informed the larger social features at the company). Reader’s social features also evolved very organically in response to users, instead of being designed top-down like some of Google’s other efforts."

Twitter this morning is full of alternative services to use, such as Reeder and Feedly. (Here's Fast Company's guide to iPad readers from 2011). And, of course, Twitter wouldn't be Twitter without the conspiracy theories. Apparently the forthcoming demise of Reader is the Pope's fault.

Are you upset by Google's decision—which was nothing to do with the bottom line, says Shih—or had you migrated to a different RSS reader long ago? Does Google+ deserve a boycott as a result, or do you think that this is just a sign of progress and something bigger and better will come from Mountain View before too long? Will you sign Dan Lewis's petition, or are you hoping for semi-divine intervention and a statement from Francis I? Use our comments box for your wise words, please.

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  • Gus

    Two years now, every morning I read news from my favourite sites with google reader. Why??

  • gwalter

    Until they killed sharing, I used Reader heavily. I had a loyal following and followed many others. It was very social and incredibly useful. The sharing from others was a great discovery tool and most of the feeds I follow now are a result of other people sharing.

    But after the demise of sharing, Reader became just a repository that I rarely checked. I was using other aggregators that imported my Reader feeds - that allowed me to share again. But my primary discovery tools are now Twitter and FB - and like another commentor mentioned, FB is now my primary sharing tool.

    Buzz - was a great tool - dead. I loved Wave - dead. If "they" would add the ability to import RSS links into G+, that would be a pretty good tool. Even if I could import my own RSS feeds into G+... uh... duh?

    On a related note, the recent scare with Feedburner caused me to begin shifting my feeds from there and to just let Wordpress handle my feeds and data.

    Finally, with my frustration regarding the demise of Reader, Wave, and Feedburner - I am still a heavy user of Google products. As an Android user, the Google integration is great and I appreciate the products I use. I just wish, like another commentor mentioned, Google would realize that some products bring great value and credibility, even if the beancounters don't see it. Google shouldn't forget their base of pioneers, developers, geeks, freaks, and bloggers - if they piss us off, they may find themselves in a whole new world.

  • chris livermore

    I use Google Reader more than I use Gmail, by far.  As a startup working with small businesses I again find myself abandoned by Google.  First it was the free GApps being yanked with zero notice.  I get that Google Apps for Business is a great product and easily worth the $50/year but with the zero day notice it left me going back to a client mid setup and informing them their yearly cost just went up $300 for email that I had already sold them on.  Before that it was Google App Engine, the big G attempt to dislodge AWS.  I hesitated and didnt drink the green koolaid for fear of being abandoned or having the too good to be true price jacked to the sky, I was pleasantly validated.  The problem I have here is Google launches (buys) a great product, tells the web its the greatest thing since the web and then goes full on ADD a year later and abandons it into a zombie only to kill it during a "spring user massacre", sorry "cleaning".  At this point I cannot build any business or trust into any Google product because it is clear it will be killed with little regard.  This is why I have not gone all in on Google+ which is a great technology but not all that, because everyone is waiting for it to be killed next time Google forgets its ADD meds.  Thank God for duckduckgo!!

  • Andrew Shannon

    I get all of my daily information from GReader and will be quite pissed if having to resubscribe through another service

  • Rob Caldera

    Even if people don't actually read feeds in Google Reader as much as they used to, tons of people, such as myself, use it to manage subscriptions and sync feeds across apps and other readers (e.g. Flipbook, Feedly).  Most apps/readers out these give you the option to pull all of your feeds from Google Reader. This capability will be sorely missed!

  • Rob Caldera

    Even if people don't use Google Reader much for reading feeds anymore, tons of people (like myself) use it to manage our subscriptions and sync our feeds across multiple apps and readers, such as Flipbook, Feedly, and more. Most readers/apps give you the option to simply pull your subscriptions from Google Reader giving you one simple place to manage that. This capability will be sorely missed.

  • Chris Larson

    I use Reader everyday as well. Maybe, just maybe they are going to devote the team to finishing Google Wave. I'd be okay with that.

  • Aleksey Tsalolikhin

    Please disregard my earlier comment.  I see you did give us a link. Thanks!!

  • Eimar Linch

    They should have innovated on it. See apps like Reeder, or what Feedly is doing, or what is doing which brings RSS feeds together with eBooks and other sources, and adds on top some social reading features.

    Google misses a chance to be a part of social reading innovation.

  • Andrew Curry

    And of course, it's already decided to close igoogle, which is useful in different ways. I'll just find alternatives for both these useful products (which can't need much development support) and spend less time on Google.Stupid business decision; pi**ing on your core users is never smart. 

  • Patrick

    Ironically, I'll probably depend more on Facebook for links to my favorite sites. Not what Google had in mind, I'm guessing.

  • Addams

    This will do more damage to the google brand than anything else.

    Google reader users are the same that helped google grow (geeks, bloggers & journalists), and now google is just telling them "we don't care than millions are using it everyday, and we may stop any service you use at any moment, deal with it"

    Bye google, it has been fun, but I can trust you anymore and I can't recommend you anymore.
    The global user experience and trust is degrading too fast.
    Say hello to microsoft when you will be at their level

  • Dan

    I haven't found anything that does what reader does, as well as reader does. Thinking about it, it's probably the strongest reason I have to have a google account. I have reader up all day, but I'm trying to move away from owning any content in the cloud (because I've realised you don't own it - thanks Amazon!). It used to be that gmail did email better than any other solution, but that's no longer the case. Reader is my biggest (perhaps only) reason not to just delete my google account.

  • Nadeem Bakhsh

    I can't believe it. Its my favorite app, and I use it all day, everyday, first and last thing i do everyday. I signed two petitions, but I don't think it'll be enough. Started an indiegogo campaign too. If any of you really want it to stay, put your money where your mouth is! 

  • Ishank@Innolea

    This is insane. Why don't they just shutdown that useless Orkut thing instead of Google Reader.