While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined.- The Google
It's sad to see the departure of Google Reader. I've been using it pretty consistently since it first appeared as a labs project and loved it. I advocated to all my friends and slowly got the all on board with using. It was fantastic to have that Group of people who would "share" on Google Reader and then it would show up across everyone else's Readers. There was the time in Google history where a privacy bug made it so if your gmail address was on the same thread in a gmail message as someone else, they became your friend in Reader and you started seeing their stories. It was awesome.
Due to this great "feature" many of my friend's friends became my Google Reader friends and I could see the cool stuff they were sharing. It built quite a fun interactive environment. Once I had my reader up when a friend was over and he noticed his sister's name on my computer (because he had sent an e-mail to both us, thus making us Google Reader friends). When I asked why he was starting so intently at my computer he said, "I was trying to determine why my sister's name was on it to see if I should be angry with your or not. I guess not." NOT INDEED!
Of course, eventually Google rolled out Google Plus and removed the sharing feature from reader. In two weeks Reader will close its doors. When Google announced the shuttering months ago I expected the Internet would respond with a half a dozen decent cloud-based RSS readers, but it appears to me that is not going to be the case. I exported all my data from Google Reader… but today I made the decision to never return to Google Reader. All my stuff has moved to Feedly and its working pretty well for me. I'm hoping that Feedly with open up it's API so that my favorite client (Reeder) can run against it, but for now I will continue to use Feedly directly. Someday I expect them to start injecting ads into my stream, but for now, I guess it's the best alternative out there.