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What This Means for Genealogy

Google Reader was a popular tool among tech geeks. It could consume large quantities of information in an efficient manner. Google however claimed the service was not particularly popular in the general population and had become a niche product.

GenealogyInTime Magazine has the capability to track in aggregate the number of users who follow us using Google Reader and equivalent RSS services. Given that we are an established genealogy website with thousands of visitors a day, we have sufficient numbers to provide a statistically significant sample of how many genealogists use Google Reader.

Our records indicate that 6 to 8% of genealogy traffic comes from Google Reader (this number includes equivalent RSS services). The numbers are stable, although they have been slowly trending lower over time. This is consistent with Google’s statement that Google Reader is becoming less popular over time. Thus, Google Reader was not a particularly significant factor in the field of genealogy.

Bloggers in many fields assume a reasonably large number of viewers read their blogs from platforms like Google Reader. Numbers usually stated by bloggers suggest 25 to 40% of all blog viewers come from Google Reader and equivalent services. We have always been skeptical of such claims because they seemed much too large and are not verifiable. In the field of genealogy, where we can verify the numbers, we feel comfortable saying that 6 to 8% of genealogy readers come from Google Reader and equivalent RSS services.

 

Alternatives to Google Reader for Genealogy

Fortunately, GenealogyInTime Magazine has three free products that are specifically designed to efficiently aggregate and distribute genealogy information:

The Genealogy News Gadget gathers the latest genealogy information from hundreds of sources from around the world. This includes genealogy societies, blogs, online magazines and companies. Instead of obsessively checking several genealogy websites daily, this product provides all the updates from your favorite genealogy websites plus more. It works well on smart phones, iPads and desktops.

For those people who prefer to receive their information at a gentler pace, the very popular Genealogy Toolbar has been upgraded to broadcast the same genealogy headlines. The Genealogy Toolbar is used by thousands of people and has lots of great features in addition to genealogy headlines, like direct access to a free and powerful genealogy search engine.

Finally, there is the Genealogy Twitter Gadget. It can be used to see what people are talking about in the field of genealogy in real time. A Twitter account is not required to use this product.

For those who insist on following the Google Reader approach to gathering news and information, several companies are working furiously to replace Google Reader. Most of the replacements have yet to hit the internet and we have not tried any of them. One that is expected to launch soon is called SmashingReader.com

Originally published March 2013.
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Addendum

At GenealogyInTime Magazine, are constantly revising and upgrading our genealogy information feeds. It is part of our commitment to helping the genealogy community. If you are aware of a genealogy society, company or blog that has an RSS feed and is currently not covered by us, then please send us an email at letusknow@genealogyintime.com

We have four general criteria for inclusion: it must be 100% about genealogy, it must be useful, it must not repeat the same content over and over again and it must not be specifically targeted toward selling a product. This is your chance to get your blog/society/company heard!