So, now that we’ve had a few days to sort of digest the news that Google Reader isn’t going to be around, you may be asking yourself what all the fuss is about. Those of you who’ve never used an RSS reader probably don’t understand what you’re missing by following a site on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus or somewhere else, instead of subscribing to the RSS feed. Truth is, when you rely on one of those other services, you probably aren’t seeing everything. Facebook is using some weird algorithm to determine what to show you in your newsfeed, and Twitter is only as good as the amount of time you have to keep up with it. Most of you who use Twitter and know this go with the assumption that the “good” stuff will bubble up to the surface when the other people you follow share it to their network and you’ll see it eventually.
Last week, I wrote about how that changes things from a bloggers perspective. I realize now just how significant a portion of the people who follow me on Twitter, or Facebook, etc. really don’t see what I write here unless others happens to start sharing it. Like I said yesterday, that changes the dynamic between myself, and you as a reader. I’m somewhat at the mercy of you and your willingness to share what I write. Oh sure, there will always be those of us who continue to use RSS readers and subscribe to feeds, but it’s not a growing number or people. We’ll move to some other tool and keep doing what we’ve always been doing. The “growth” is in people scanning Twitter, or using a tool like Flipboard, to simply try and locate the popular things that others are sharing. Those of us who simply like to write and share our thoughts and experiences are facing an even higher hill to climb to get folks to pay attention, because there simply aren’t enough people reading, let alone sharing, to help that larger mass of people find us.
As I said, this changes things. Do I need to go from blogging things I think are interesting, to writing posts designed to get shared more often? And what does that look like, exactly? I don’t know. At least not yet.
In the mean time, if you are interested in actually seeing everything I write here, grab the RSS feed and take a look at some RSS alternatives, or you can always go the old fashioned way, and subscribe to the email list.
Of course, if you aren’t following at all, you can also try the Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus pages as well, and if you want to follow the News and Reviews blog, there’s a separate email list for that as well. You can find it in the upper right-hand corner of the site.
Most of all, I want to say thank you for those of you who do subscribe, or follow in whatever way you currently do so, and for sharing the site among your own network. Obviously, when it comes to building up readership and community around this site, that goes a long, long way!