Whether you used it or not, you've likely heard the (loud, anguished) news: Google Reader will be shutting down on July 1st. Despite the now 50,000+ strong petition begging otherwise, it looks like Google will be going through with its plans, and so users have been looking far and wide for an alternative. Digg has stepped forward and said it will provide that alternative.
Digg made the announcement on its blog a little while ago, expressing its sadness that the service will be closing down, calling it a "solid and reliable tool." Not to let the service wither away into nothingness, the company is going to try to fill Google's shoes and create a replacement reader tool using Reader's API. While it aims to have all the best features of Google's soon-to-be-axed service, there are also plans to build upon it.
Says Digg, it will "advance [the features of Reader] to fit the Internet of 2013," citing the ways in which other social services, such as Reddit and Twitter, offer up what it calls overwhelming signals about current happenings and trends. While it expects the process to be a large one, the company says it is confident that it can pull it off and create an alternative that current Reader users will embrace.
The project is currently slated to begin in the second half of this year, presumably after Reader officially goes offline. To get things started, the company is seeking input from Internet users near and far, asking them to provide information on what they want and expect in an RSS reader, what they consider useful, and what features they wish Reader had that would make it better.