Friday, April 19, 2013

The problem with reader...

...and why the new Google+ based commenting for +Blogger is a great move.

It's old news now, but Google is killing of Google Reader.  Reader is a service that I use daily and so this was unwelcome, but not unexpected news. Given that Reader has not received any updates in a while it had been considered to be 'on borrowed time' for a while.
I use reader to keep up with many many feeds from a wide range of sites and reader brings all of this content together in one place, properly categorised ready for my reading pleasure.

But... This is where reader stops, sure, I can, and often did share these feeds on Google+, but that interaction rarely makes it back to the original article and in many cases the author wouldn't see that interaction. The problem with reader was that it disconnects the reader from the author, it breaks the interaction made possible by the social web.

The social web should be just that, social. When a comment is made on a blog post then the blog author should be a part of that conversation, and that's where the new integration between Blogger and Google+ comes in.

Google recently announced Bringing Google+ Comments to Blogger, this is a huge advance in bringing social interactions to Blogger. Shares of content on G+ are right there as comments on the blog, along with the discussions on those G+ posts. This is a great example of plus being the social layer to the web rather than just another the social network.

Not only is this a good thing for bloggers, it is also a good thing for those who comment on, and share blog posts. These comments and discussions are now right there in the blog, along with links to the plus profiles of those commenting. This puts your plus profile and relevant comments right there in front of others who share your interests. This will result in the building of networks of people with shared interests.

This is early days yet, and I hope that Google will continue the integration into other products, YouTube would benefit from the same level of integration with G+ and would be a logical next step. Eventually I would love to see the technology extended to include any website. We can only wait and see.

So far as a reader replacement goes, I will be using +feedly. I like the interface, but am experiencing some reliability issues both with the website and with the Android app. I'm sure this will improve as they make the break from reader into their own backend, but it is a little annoying at present.
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