New York, NY (PRWEB) June 11, 2013
When Google announced they would be doing away with Google Reader, an uproar arose from all corners of the online community. Without Reader, many wondered how they would now organize their favorite RSS feeds. Fans of the platform even started a petition to keep Reader going at Change.org, which currently sports over 150,000 signatures.
It’s not clear how many people use the platform, but Flipboard has reported that approximately 2 million individuals have synced their Google account with their service, and last year the company reported that there were more 425 million people with a Gmail account. Although the number of users has been in decline throughout the past few years, all indications point to a substantial amount of people who utilize the service.
Google Software Engineer, Alan Green, made the following statement on the company’s blog, "usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we're pouring all of our energy into fewer products." The company has said that the official retirement date of the program is July 1 2013.
Devin Dixon, founder of Unbiasly.com and the new PingMe platform, commented, “It’s completely understandable that so many find the discontinuation of Google Reader frustrating, but there are other platforms available, like PingMe, that are capable of performing many of the same functions in addition to adding some exciting innovative features of their own.”
The discontinuation of Reader has actually given a number of companies the opportunity to find creative ways to integrate RSS feeds into new and existing programs. Whilst many see the end of the platform as the doom of the role of RSS in blogs, it may actually be the beginning of broader, more comprehensive alternatives.
Take, for example, PingMe. This free service allows for users to designate specific topics or stories to follow. When articles related to those topics or stories are posted on the Internet, a ‘ping’ is created and customers are notified about the update. The process is both seamless and simple. A perfect example of the service being used today is tracking the progressive updates following the events surrounding Whistle-Blower Edward Snowden and the FBI's efforts to find him.
Additionally, the service can integrate Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as sources of information. This integration of social media as potential sources is a particularly exciting innovation, allowing people to keep up on the latest social trends and what friends, family and acquaintances are up to. Using the Edward Snowden example, a direct comparison between traditional media and social media can be made, embellishing the current story and keeping the readers engaged. It becomes apparent that what public officials advocate and what the average person thinks may not be in accord regarding Snowden's actions.
Another useful feature of the service is the ability to designate how often ‘pings’ are sent; these can also be adjusted depending on the topic.
“We’ve already had a number of new customers sign up for our service, and we anticipate as we draw closer to July 1 that we will have a lot more,” said Dixon. “Whilst we aren’t a replacement for Google Reader, we are definitely an excellent alternative.”
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