The death of Google Reader

Tech, Thought Provoking, Web

Read two great articles on the death of Google Reader this week explaining the bigger picture of why it was shutdown.

Marco Arment in this wonderful post Lockdown contends that Google with Facebook and Twitter is building walled gardens to lock users in. The open RSS model doesn’t fit that strategy.

That world formed the web’s foundations — without that world to build on, Google, Facebook, and Twitter couldn’t exist. But they’ve now grown so large that everything from that web-native world is now a threat to them, and they want to shut it down. “Sunset” it. “Clean it up.” “Retire” it. Get it out of the way so they can get even bigger and build even bigger proprietary barriers to anyone trying to claim their territory.

Well, fuck them, and fuck that.

Following on from that:

Dare Obasanjo writes that Google are no longer pretending to be the good guys anymore.

His conclusion:

Google Reader has been living on borrowed time since Facebook and Twitter became prominent. The only thing that has changed in 2013 is that Google’s management doesn’t think it’s worth it to throw a bone to millions of geeks and early adopters by keeping the lights running on the service with its existing skeleton crew. This new Google doesn’t care if geeks and early adopters just see it as another money hungry corporation that only focuses on the bottom line. Larry Page doesn’t give a shit.

Welcome to the new Google.

Buzzfeed actually received an increase is traffic from Google Reader after it was announced. The graphic showing the comparison of traffic from Google+ and Reader is quite illuminating.

I initially used Bloglines to for reading rss feeds but after they closed down, I did examine moving to Google Reader but instead chose netvibes which is free for individuals. I was uncomfortable about handing over another service to an ever smaller number of providers. There was also the fact that feeds are a core part of netvibes whereas Reader was just another auxiliary part of Google.
My advice: Stick to services that are provided by companies where the service is a core part of their business.