If you’re an avid Google Reader user you’ve no doubt heard the news: Google Reader will be shut down this summer. People everywhere reacted to the news, most of them upset that the service will be gone. Google Reader, an RSS feed service, allows users to subscribe to blogs and then receive updates and read new posts from their Google account, rather than having to visit each blog individually.
What will the end of Google Reader mean for your business? In essence there are two ways the announcement could impact your company.
If You Depend on it For Your Job or the Services You Provide
If you use Google Reader to do your job or to serve your customer base, the loss of Google Reader will definitely impact your business. Journalists, bloggers, community resources and news sites all frequently use RSS feed services to gather information about industries and news events. Some businesses also use Google Reader to keep up with industry news and their competition.
What You Should Do
There are alternative RSS reader services out there, so to keep using RSS feeds the way you do you’ll need to switch to one of these services. Make sure the service you change to doesn’t rely on Google Reader though, or you will loose all your subscriptions when Google shuts the doors on Google Reader.
If Your Market Reads Your Blog Through Google Reader
If you’re a blogger, or one of the main modes of communication between your company and your market is your blog, that channel may be threatened. It’s hard to tell how many of your readers will be impacted, but since Google Reader was one of the most widely used RSS feed services, it’s probably safe to say that at last some of your audience was using it.
This means that you run the risk of losing some of your readers, and potential customers, when Google Reader is gone. If your audience rarely visits your blog, but reads all of your new posts through Google Reader, they may stop reading your posts altogether.
What You Should Do
In this case, you’ll need to find a new way to help your readers easily access your posts. You could always suggest a new reader service, or you could try something new, like an email subscription list. Converting your audience from one medium, that they are used to, to an entirely new one, may be difficult. Unfortunately, when Google Reader disappears you and your audience won’t have much of a choice.
Some experts are speculating that RSS reader services will decline in popularity since Google Reader’s audience may disappear this summer. Of course, there isn’t any way to know that for sure until bloggers and businesses attempt to implement ways to deal with the change.