Yesterday Google announced some more products they will be saying goodbye to with their Second Spring of Cleaning announcement (which you can read in full on the Google blog here) I found out about this late last night and although it wasn't a surprise to me, I felt a little bit like Google was slapping us in the face. For me, in all my years of blogging on various platforms, Google Reader has been a fantastic and easy way to keep up to date with all of the blogs I follow. Every single blog I read on a daily basis, is on my Google Reader reading list. I browse it daily, I go to blogs from it, daily. It is a daily part of me running this blog as a blogger, as much as it is for me as a reader of blogs. It's a simple, yet effective tool, and I for one will miss it.
Google's decision to axe Google Reader is, ultimately, their decision. There have been outcrys from users of Google Reader all over the Internet since it was announced. Someone from New York has even started a petition to stop Google axing Google Reader (which if you so wish, you can read and sign here) and one comical YouTube user has even made a spoof Hitler reaction to the news (although Hitler is in no means funny, this clip is and I strongly recommend you watch it, just to make the situation more light hearted!)
So what does the loss of Google Reader mean? Well, I am no technology genuis. But for me, it will make following and reading blogs just that little bit trickier, and a little more effort will be needed on my part to ensure I keep up with the blogs I read and love. There are alternative platforms; I've been looking into Feedly as an alternative to following blogs. You can do a simple Google search to find out what alternatives there are out there, although this post from CNET may be helpful to some of you.
So how can you follow blogs now that Google Reader is going? Well firstly, don't panic. The axe date for Google Reader is July 1st which means we have a few months yet before it goes. That gives you plenty of time to switch over to other readers and websites for following blogs. I've listed below the different ways for example that you can follow me, and their benefits. It might be worth signing up to a few of these websites and transferring over the blogs you read. And if you are a blogger and don't have your blog connected to these platforms, perhaps now is the time to do a little bit of exploring and see if they'll work for you.
A tool most bloggers from any topic use. A great way to connect with other bloggers and share your blog. I think Twitter will remain a super popular option for people to follow blogs and share posts. You can follow me on Twitter here. Twitter is free to sign up to.
If you have a Facebook page for your blog, it's a great way to reach your readers on a more personal level without just a feed of your posts showing up. Each day I will add my latest post over to my Facebook fan page. And I often update my 'status' on there for a bit of a chit chat with my readers. Facebook fan pages are free to use and sign up to. Just be careful not to select any of the paid options! You can 'Like!' me on Facebook here!
Google+ is the platform that Google is hoping we all switch to in order to follow and read blogs, as well as sharing posts. I'm pretty new to Google+ myself, finding the interface a little bit bare and lacking. But I do have a Google+ account which you can follow here! The only downside to Google+ is that not many people use it (yet) and you have to add your posts manually each day. Google+ is free to sign up to.
Other ways you can follow Tattooed Tealady
Ultimately, I would say please don't panic. I know change can be scary, I for one hate change. But there are many options out there to replace Google Reader, and we all have a few months to make sure we are sorted before it disappears!