Over the recent weekend, Google’s RSS feed reader started to go haywire. Many users began to issue complaints on the Google Reader forum. Complaints included:
- ‘My feeds don’t mark as read.’
- ‘Readers subscription and folders reverted back to old settings.’
- ‘Feeds keep refreshing.’
- ‘My subscriptions keep disappearing.’
It seems that many users had poor service with their accounts, and others did not have any problems. Many of the people who had problems with it could no longer tell which items were new and old.
Google, which had to make some big changes in Brussels recently, did not issue any responses to user complaints until Monday, when it reported that it was looking at problems with Reader. The response delay caused some users to freak out. Some people were even afraid that Google was going to take away the readers!
The problem with Google Reader was unfortunate because Reader is still one of the best feed-reading products out there. It powers the back end of many other news-reading applications, including Feedly and Reeder, and also Flipboard.
Of course, Google Reader is not the priority at Google these days, because the firm is so into promoting Google+. This is because of a shift to consuming news by social media and not by RSS. RSS really has never fully caught on with regular consumers, and many people do not even know what RSS means.
Still, Reader has a very engaged, core audience of techies who definitely noticed when Reader went down. Many of the die hards who use Reader seem to be hold outs from the previous generation of the Internet, before there was Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
And the uproar when Reader went down shows there is still a great deal of interest in Reader….even if Google does not show that much interest in it anymore.