We knew Google would sunset Reader sooner rather than later—it just happened to be a lot sooner than most people feared. No one worked on Reader anymore, other than one guy kicking a server every now and then, so it’s not entirely surprising.
I’ve read more than a million items in Reader, and I love the service. I got as much knowledge out of Reader, as I did from my time at the university. It’s been that important to me as a service.
And that’s why it irks me the way otherwise smart people behave, with an overflow of stupidity, in situations like these.
“All of you guys saying you want to bring Reader back, did you even use it?”
“Yeah, I did—everyday!”
“Well, that doesn’t count. You’re in the industry.”
So, yeah, you’re in the industry, thus your opinion doesn’t count. I can’t help read it like the Comic Book Guy.
Plus this superfluous “look mom, I made a meme”-site: bringgooglereaderback.com/, only topped by the A++ level of “What the fuck?” found on change.org/petitions/google-inc-please-do-not-shut-down-google-reader.
Marco Arment cut through the bullshit:
Now, we’ll be forced to fill the hole that Reader will leave behind, and there’s no immediately obvious alternative. We’re finally likely to see substantial innovation and competition in RSS desktop apps and sync platforms for the first time in almost a decade.
The Old Reader is nice and has everything anyone looking for a 1:1 Google Reader substitute could wish for. And reading Claus‘ shared items is a pleasure I didn’t realise how much I missed from Google Reader. So there’s that.
I’d love to think Marco is right and a million alternatives arise from the ashes of the dominating force that was Google’s feed reader. Best way to complain is to make things, etc.
Until then, I’ll put on a sadface every time we forget the influence RSS has had on the web as we know it. Friending people on Facebook, following blogs on Tumblr, and people on Twitter, are essentially variations of what was promised with RSS (albeit in closed forums, rather than fully open). Heck, Flipboard and all of its clones all feed (pun!) on the promise of users being able to get updates pushed to them, rather than having to go look for it all the time.
The raw form of RSS might be for the geeks, but the idea lives on everywhere, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.