Bye Bye, Google Reader Hello, Next Big Thing

A RSS giant has fallen. Google Reader is no more.

As of July 1st, search behemoth Google, Inc., has shut down its popular RSS feed aggregator. Petitions were signed, Tweets were Tweeted, and hundreds of thousands of impassioned pleas flooded the Internet, begging Google to keep Reader active. But all to no avail.

Citing falling usage statistics, a dwindling staff involved with the project, and the rise of social media as a news spreading machine, Google announced the impending shutdown of Reader back in March, giving users time to transfer their data before the July 1st deadline. Supporters suggested, rather frantically, that Reader could be converted into a paid service. (“Just shut up and take my money!”) But the die has been cast, and Google Reader has officially been cut loose, like a promising series on Fox.

The news is not all bad for RSS junkies. Numerous new feed readers and RSS search engines are expected to step up to fill the void, with improvements to style, speed, and search options projected to help readers better access their favorite RSS feeds directory or directories. And the influx of articles into RSS feed directories shows no signs of stopping anytime soon, so the hiatus between the demise of Google Reader and the rise of the “next big thing” should be short and relatively painless.

But what do you think? Should Google have shut down Reader? Would you have paid for the same service? What is your favorite RSS feeds directory? And what features would you expect to see in the next RSS feed directory aggregator (besides a catchier name than that)?

Leave your comment or comments below. And remember to pour one out for those RSS feed readers who are no longer with us. Gone… but not forgotten.