On July 1, 2013 Google is shutting down Google Reader. In a short 130 word post Google changed the future of blogging.
When I read the update, ironically in Google Reader, I was shell shocked. Reading blogs is part of my daily routine. For me it’s like reading the newspaper. Google Reader is my primary source of information, and the foundation for all the articles I share on Twitter.
Now I am being forced to change—as are thousands of other users.
The Great Content Reset
Google’s decision to kill Reader is not surprising. As they wrote in their announcement, “usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products.”
When Google Reader was launched in 2005, subscribing to blogs via RSS readers was the best way to stay informed. Today people can get more than enough curated, interesting content from their connections on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.
In less than 8 years, content sharing has exploded with options. And Google Reader has become a niche service for news junkies and content creators.
Email is still the killer app
If you read this blog through Google Reader, I invite you to sign-up for the email newsletter version at https://stickybranding.com/Subscribe.
Email is still king. Social media is very crowded, and it’s hard to stand out in the noise. Email offers the most predictable and direct route to your audience.
Instead of relying on services you don’t control, build a personal relationship with your audience. Ask them to subscribe to your content via email.
Rethink your content strategy
Google’s announcement signals change. If you haven’t considered your blogging and content strategies in a while, it’s time to study them.
If you can’t rely on your audience subscribing to your content, then you’ve got to consider how to make your articles even more sharable.
- Who reads your content?
- Who shares your content?
- How can you engage these groups more effectively?
Great ideas get shared—provided they are read in the first place. Without an engaged audience your content will fall into the Internet abyss.
Blogging isn’t dead, it changed
Blogging won’t die with the sunsetting of Google Reader, but it will change. New tools will emerge with new ways to consume blog content.
The announcement is a wake-up call. Use this opportunity to rethink your content strategy, and recommit to purposefully engaging your audience.
What’s your take? Will the demise of Google Reader impact you?