2 July 2013 0 Comments

Google Reader: The Morning after

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

Lessons from Google Reader,Social media effects on Google ReaderIt is no longer news Google Reader is now dead. The obituary is everywhere. Its death cannot be said to be natural, it was induced or what can be regarded as euthanasia. This seems to be the way out for the family after a careful consideration of the present circumstance where social media platforms had done a lot of damage to its health.

Mr. Google Reader’s family comment says ‘we established Google reader in 2005…While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined. So, on July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader.” – Google. From the above, it appears the focus of Google has changed and the fact that Google readers’ relevance had declined was a pointer, hence this seems to be the last option. From every indication Google will want to focus efforts on its brother -Google+. Can we say Google itself was responsible for the gradual death of this platform through its introduction of Google+?

Whatever happens Google Reader made it marks while still alive especially during the age the product was born. To everyone, we can learn that relevance and impact are essential if we must remain here.  First we need to know that this product was established as news aggregator for users.There is several things we can learn from this experience. Let us examine them

Being a pulse of the market does not mean… When Google reader came on board in 2005, it was a perfect fit for the time. Many grabbed it use with two hands. This is especially true for technologist, researchers, journalists and other professional that deal with information. Unfortunately, the product began to lose its vibrancy when twitter and url shortners gained prominence. One noticeable shortcoming was that it was not fast enough, nor current to hold the traffic of information it is also on record that Google reader never made it to the mainstream like Google+. The lesson: what is hot today may not be tomorrow, work and update your product strategy if you can.

Product for techy elite: though many may not want to accept this, but a school of thought believes the product suite the yawning of tech elites, journalist bloggers, programmers and researcher more than the generality of the populace. As RSS reader not many people like to gather information in a pool like Google reader. Having a product segmented for a market requires aggressive marketing, communication which will allow the market to whole accept and spread the world about it.

Advent of highly effective platforms: as at 2005 when Google reader was created, not many social media platforms had gained relevance like they are today. The introduction of Google+ also by Google could have done a little damage to the product. But there is wisdom in that introduction. Instead of loosing the whole market and fun to other social media platforms, it came out with another highly competitive tool that can withstand the market

The competitors are not sleeping: As we know, you cannot remain the only option for long except in a monopoly.  It was widely known Google reader went down for two days around February this year and this made some users to begin to search for replacement. A time was when Google reader marked all unread article as read. This In the RSS category, many platforms like Feedly and Digg had been fighting hard. It is on record though they lack certain unique feature associated with Google reader. We can only wait to see what happen to them at the exits of the Google reader.

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