With Google's announcement that their Reader product is shortly to be consigned to the trash heap, the search is on for the next best (or better) feed reader/dashboard. The demand for content, and the trend for curation as an integral part to many an effective content strategy, has fuelled increased interest in ways to get industry news and information in a condensed and centralised format. The 100k+ signature petition for the salvation of the platform shows just how many people have come to rely on the inbound nature of relevant stories, which they can then put their own spin on.
But I can't help thinking that Google rarely get it wrong - unless we're talking about their various (failed) pre-Google+ attempts to enter the social media sphere - and that their decision is based on sound evidence that Reader is surplus to requirements. Either that, or the X Department have something HUGE in the pipeline, that will negate the need to use RSS feeds at all!?
This stage of the content strategy falls bang in the middle of the "Noise Reduction" step of our NOTICE methodology, here at Influence Agents. Rather than suggest Reader or any other particular dashboard or inbox view of fed content, we discuss all options, including various social search and alerts products. It's in the course of exploring these, that we've arrived at a conclusion regarding the usage of listening tools - most people prefer the disruptive nature of email alerts, rather than have to diarise or remember the action to visit a dashboard on a daily basis.
Does the dashboard view of inbound content really support the busy and disparate nature of modern daily life - especially for those in business. You'll be checking your email anyway, so alerts are a more effective way to ensure the story gets through. But here's still a problem. Anyone who's used Google Alerts, for one, will know just how poor it is, in identifying anything near a comprehensive view of emerging stories, not to mention that the keyword-based nature of your searches don't allow for new and emerging trends and topics. You have to go really high-level, and hence introduce a great deal of filtering to the equation.
So have Google got it right this time? Do you use Reader or other RSS "dashboards" to fuel your content marketing strategy? Where will you turn, once Reader retires? We love comments - please post yours below...