The demise of Google Reader: On the path to driverless information retrieval

By The GPDH Editors | March 21, 2013

By Simon Barron

On Wednesday, Google announced that a range of their services are to be shut down. Google Reader – once the best and easiest-to-use RSS reader (Rich Site Summary (or Really Simple Syndication)) on the Web – is to be retired on the 1st of July. On the official Google Reader Blog, Alan Green, Software Engineer, cites declining usage and how “as a company [Google are] pouring all of our energy into fewer products.”

The demise of Reader is part of a larger trend in digital content management that has wider implications for our personal collecting of digital content. We all deal with more digital information than ever before – cultivating our own personal digital collections now – and with such vast quantities of data hurled at us, we need to apply more filters to ensure that we’re not overwhelmed. RSS – retrieving all the content produced by a selected website – is a style of filtering that worked a few years ago but is increasingly less viable. Rather than filtering to selected sources, now we filter down to individual content pieces: Pocket saves individual articles for us; Twitter and Facebook provide us with links to content deemed worthy by our friends and colleagues; Digg and Reddit ensure that only content selected collectively by the wisdom of the crowd gets pushed at us. Whether this increase in filtering is good or ill is a matter of debate.

Read full post here. (Originally posted March 15, 2013)