Google Reader is dead and buried, and nothing’s going to bring it back. But if you managed to export your data (all your data, not just your feed list), then you can still relive the glory days by sifting through all of your old news items using the Google Reader interface.
Developer Mihai Parparita was one of the folks that worked on Reader at Google. When the company decided to shut down its online news reader, he created Reader is Dead, a tool that let users create a complete backup of every read and unread item associated with their account. Instead of the few megabytes of data you get from Google Takeout, this provided an archive that could include gigabytes of data.
Enter Zombie Reader. It’s a tool that lets you interact with your saved Google Reader data as if the service were still alive — it just won’t let you actually update or sync your feeds. So this is pretty much strictly for archival purposes.
Moving forward, long-time Reader fans will probably want to move onto new alternatives such as Feedly, Newblur, Digg Reader, AOL Reader, or Feedspot. But Zombie Reader is a way to make sure we don’t forget what was lost… and for those of us who spent most of our daylight hours with Google Reader, it’s a reminder of what used to eat our brains. Or was that feed our brains?
I never did get the reasoning for Google shutting down the reader in the first place. Was it to force people into Google Plus, the same way they did with Picassa?
You are pretty much correct that Google wants to force people into Google Plus. That along with the twitterization of content- only brief links shared among the great unread- made Google think twice about keeping Reader alive.
Also Reader may have begun to run into issues with copyrights since it was pushing content from other sources without having to click on the sources’ websites generating revenue for the websites.
For example I keep up with a Manufacturing Quality blog website which has great content but the absolutely worst layout and advertising. I could/can only digest that site though Reader and now Feedly so that person gets no ad revenue from my digesting his actual content.
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