So, Google announced they were shutting down Reader in July. After about a week, I’ve settled into using Feedly as a suitable replacement. TheOldReader has a good interface for desktop, but it’s virtually unusable on my phone. Newsblur is attractive because it’s all open source, but I’m thinking that setting up a local instance would be too much work. I tried a few others that aren’t worth noting.
You can see a bunch of suggestions at replacereader.com.
Also, remember what I said that Google would be the new Microsoft? Was that almost five years ago?
The analysis below about Google snuffing out RSS is great. I expect the Internet to route around this problem. I’m wondering how bad this is going to be for Google. On the one hand, they seem to be playing on long, steady game against Facebook. On the other hand, dumping Reader seems like an obviously bad idea. Just the removal of the sharing causes lots of vocal influencers to boycott Plus.
Most of the commentary I’ve read so far about the loss of Google Reader has been about its use as an RSS client. But that’s a red herring. The real victims were companies that had planned in 2005 and 2006 to build RSS sync engines. Google stomped them out of business like Godzilla sweeping through Tokyo.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Google may think it can waltz into a market that Evernote and others have staked out, but I’m not going to dance.
At 4:16pm last Wednesday I got a short and to-the-point email from Nilay Patel at The Verge with only a link that started with the host “googlereader.blogspot.com”. The sudden spike in NewsBlur’s visitors immediately confirmed — Google was shutting down Reader.A very common mistake entrepreneurs make is to assume that a feature is not necessary because it doesn’t have a lot of usage, thus it can be safely removed from the product. Sometimes that’s the case, but sometimes, not so much.Google made a big mistake cancelling Google Reader that will have severe ripple effects to its empire. I know a lot has been written about it, but let me give you a different angle on it.
Google Reader’s upcoming shutdown and Mailbox’s rapid acquisition have reignited the discussion of free vs. paid services and whether people should pay for products they love to keep them running sustainably.
But users aren’t the problem. As Michael Jurewitz wrote, many tech startups never even attempt to reach profitability before they’re acquired or shut down. Nobody ever had a chance to pay for Google Reader or Mailbox.