The news of Google shutting down Reader on July 1st has left many users loyal to the technology disappointed. And left people on the other side shaking their head, wondering why it’s gone on for this long, as the numbers have been declining since it’s inception back in 2005.
But the decision is already made and no amount of social media outburst, or ‘Save Reader’ campaign is going to change that, so if you’re a fan of RSS, you might be interested in a blog post from social discovery company Digg (now owned by betaworks) saying they would be building a replacement. Apparently Digg has been working on building an RSS reader since 2010, but with the recent Google decision, said in their post they’re, “…moving the project to the top of our priority list. We’re going to build a reader, starting today.”
My guess is, Digg will try to incorporate more social elements in the reader, possibly allowing people to cross-comment on the same things, and be able to see what others are saying in addition to democratizing content and pushing more popular stuff to the top. After all, the idea behind RSS was to help people to digest the massive amount of content that is out there. “Just add it to the Google Reader”. It was a simple way to make content portable, but now there are so many other options with social media, etc. And now with every brand having a copy editing operation, there’s bound to be more, and separating what’s interesting and relevant content to users will be an important feature in any content consumption tool that attempts to aggregate articles from multiple sources.
And as a sign they are working on a deadline they have posted the following countdown clock which counts the seconds until Google Reader shuts down, and presumably they will have completed work on their own RSS reader, and hopefully a way to import your settings & folders from Reader. As many have claimed to have spent quite a bit of time arranging their favorite items in their Reader accounts in folders.
Most who have responded to the post have commented they like the simple design of Reader (and the cross-platform functionality), but want more social components, sharing capabilities and a way to sort through previous entries. You can share your input and help shape the next RSS reader here, where the company has encouraged those interested to participate and offer their suggestions.
Article first published as Digg Announces it Will Build Google Reader Replacement on Technorati.