Google Misses the Boat Again (Yet Another Google Reader Rant)

So a large number of people are not happy that Google Reader is getting killed. Because, let’s face it – its not like it was really dying if 500,000 users have already moved to Feedly alone. So this is not Google putting an old service that few care about on the shelf. It is a good service being cut down in its prime because…. well, I have never been able to figure out Google’s reasons for killing anything. But I am guessing that money has something to do with it.

But I guess the big question I have is: why kill something with millions of users and force them to go somewhere else for their service? Why not integrate Reader into Google+? I rarely use Google+, but to be honest I might give it another try if it had better content.

Yes, I know that you can share articles with other users in Google Reader – so why does it need a social network attached? Because so many people don’t use those sharing features. But they will post articles they read on Facebook all the time (and you can see in the link that they originally read it on Google Reader). So the question for Google: why not integrate Reader into your ghost town of a social network and inject some life into it? I would personally like to read my RSS feeds in an integrated social network stream.

Even better for educators, you could use Circles to share articles of interest with only your students. Which you already can, of course – but it would be so much simpler if you are reading and sharing those articles all from the same service.

But you could probably also say the same about many of the other dead or dying Google services. Makes you not want to sign up for anything they do – why get attached to a service that will be gone in a year?

Matt Crosslin
Matt is currently the Learning Innovation Coordinator with the UT Arlington LINK Research Lab. His research focuses on Learning Theory, Innovation, and learner empowerment. Matt holds a Ph.D. in Learning Technologies from the University of North Texas, a Master of Education in Educational Technology from UT Brownsville, and a Bachelors of Science in Education from Baylor University. His research interests include instructional design, learning pathways, sociocultural theory, heutagogy, virtual reality, and open networked learning. He has a background in instructional design and teaching at both the secondary and university levels and has been an active blogger and conference presenter. He also enjoys networking and collaborative efforts involving faculty, students, administration, and anyone involved in the education process.

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