Google Giveth and Google Taketh Away

Just needing to vent (er, I mean lament) over the impending demise of Google Reader. Like so many others, I had been a very happy and active user of Reader for several years — particularly to keep up with the genealogy blogging community. After Google made the announcement of the death of Reader, I let the dust settle for a few days and then started looking for a replacement. I’ve since found one that I’m pretty happy with – and I’ll get to that later. The main problem in this situation, however, is that having to research and come up with an alternative to Reader wasn’t something I was anticipating having to do.

This is the second time that I’ve felt like Google has pulled the rug out from under me. The first was when they abandoned the newspaper archive project. I used that extensively in my genealogy research. I could have better understood if they abandoned the scanning, indexing and adding of new content to the archive while leaving the search mechanism intact. But they pulled the archive search box too. Yes, the newspapers are still available, but searching them is now so much more convoluted. And we have no guarantee as to how long the existing newspaper archive will remain available.

Both times Google has used the excuse that the popularity of these services is too low to justify maintaining them. I can maybe believe that with regard to the newspaper archive, but with Reader? Really? If that’s the case why are so many complaining about it on blogs, websites and even G+?

Then, virtually before the ink was dry on the press release announcing the end of Reader, Google announced a new service called Keep. This one apparently is in direct competition with the very popular Evernote. Honestly, I’m not sure I even want to give it a try. I’m afraid if I like it and start relying on it, they’ll stop supporting it too! Or maybe it’s just me being overly cynical.

But back to the Reader replacement. I chose to go with Feedly and I am slowly getting used to it. I’ve actually been trying out some of the different layouts just for something a little different. Eventually I’ll probably even prefer it to Reader. Eventually.

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