It's a sad day in blog land. Google has announced that they will be retiring their much loved service, Google Reader. Yep, that's right. Come July GR will be no more. As you can imagine, this has really upset a ton of bloggers and blog followers the same. Google has stated that "There are two simple reasons for this: usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we are pouring all of our energy into fewer products..." I can guess those other products they're focusing on include Google Plus. It's been pretty obvious that they've been trying to force users into using this social site.
Okay, so what can you do and what does this mean for Friend Connect?! I think it's pretty safe to assume that Friend Connect will be getting the boot eventually as well. Are you hyperventilating yet?! Google has failed to mention this but considering that the widget's website no longer works (google.com/friendconnect) and has been replaced by a Google Plus error page, as well as the fact that they've pretty much hidden the friend connect widget from the main selections of your "add a gadget" page in Blogger, I would not be surprised. The two services run pretty much hand in hand.
Unfortunately now that the friend connect site doesn't work or allow you to login to see your followers anymore, you can no longer send them a little newsletter asking them to follow you elsewhere. I'm sure half of the users didn't even know you could do this to begin with, but you could, and it's gone, meaning there is currently no effective way to ensure your followers are able to follow you on another service, like Google Plus (cringe.)
Fortunately for the Reader side of things, you can use Google Takeaway to save a copy of all of your subscriptions and subscribers.
What does this mean for apps you use? A lot of feed reader apps actually use Google Reader to grab your feeds. For example, the subscriptions page on my app, BlogGo. Lame. Developers are going to be pretty busy.
There are other feed reading tools you can use, including Bloglovin' and Feedly. Feedly let's you automatically transfer your Google Reader subscriptions over. Bloglovin' also set up a tool that lets you transfer your subscriptions over too!
If you are as unhappy about this as most of us are, you can sign this petition to try to get Google to continue running the service.
In the meantime, I guess I will be trying to get my followers to +1 me on Google Plus (???) or "circle" me, whatever that means. If you subscribe to Wonder Forest on Google Reader, please also resubscribe using another method as mentioned above.
What will you do to prep for these changes?
Add me on Google + below, or follow on Bloglovin'! I've also just created a Google + group for bloggers! So if you have a blog, join and maybe we can make this a cool place to connect and chat with other bloggers!