Friday, July 5, 2013

Google Reader is Gone

... and eWeek published an obituary with the provocative title "Google Reader Deserved to Die: 10 Reasons Why". One reason the author gives is that RSS use is fading. Setting aside the possibility that, to paraphrase Mark Twain, "the report of [RSS's] death was an exaggeration", the author's points generally fall into two categories. One consists of reasons why it was a good business decision from Google's perspective. Since providing the service cost money and it did not seem to generate any significant revenues, it's hard to argue with Google's logic - and rather than bash them for the decision, I'll just thank them for providing the service as long as they did.

The other set of arguments by the author seem to focus on the allegation that most users now get "news" from other sources, and reasons why that (alleged) trend exists and is likely to continue. This may or may not be true -- I'm no expert when it comes to how people get news online -- but the author seems to make the implicit assumption that news feeds are the primary (sole?) reason for using RSS. I use RSS almost exclusively to get "content" feeds: blog posts from non-news blogs; some Twitter feeds (for convenience); questions and answers posted to various non-news forums. I can't say what proportion of the use of Google Reader was from people seeking "news" and what proportion was from people, like me, looking for other content, but I suspect the presumption that it was mostly news gathering may be a reflection of the author's propensities rather than an analysis of usage data.

Related posts (some suggesting alternatives):

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