This Is Bullshit

Since you're reading this, there's a fairly strong chance you've already heard that yesterday Google announced the imminent demise of Google Reader.  (The upshot:  sorry you're SOL.)  Reader is the most popular service for subscribing to RSS feeds, which is how most of us bloggers keep track of each others' posts.  If it weren't for RSS, we'd have to subscribe to blogs via email - or, worse, visit every site every day to check for new posts.

This is bullshit.

Google, here are some thoughts going through my mind:

  • How do you build an utterly dominant tool, crush the competition, and then abandon it?
  • Are you trying to obsolesce the underlying technology, RSS?  If so, in the name of Faraday, Einstein, Tesla, Edison, and Newton, why?
  • How do you keep supporting Blogger but take away the network that links bloggers together?
  • How do you fail to provide a migration path to a new service, like, say, Google+?  Surely you have someplace you'd like to have our eyeballs.
  • Were you not making enough money from ads on Reader?  Is that it?  If so, couldn't you have bothered to try pushing a few more ads to support a team to maintain it?

I have 323 subscriptions in Reader.  I use it not only for reading blogs but also for comment threads on blogs, and for totally unbloggy things like local Groupons, tour dates for bands, new Meetup activity, jeez, the list goes on forever.  I probably spend as much time on Reader as the average american spends watching TV.

Yeah, there are some people talking about alternatives (most of whose sites are currently down under what amounts to a DOS attack from tens of millions of techies freaking out) and gamely stocking their digital fallout shelters.  But I'm pissed.  You know what?  Outlook has an RSS reader.  There's probably a way to get a list of feeds in Outlook to sync between two computers and a phone.  Fuck you Google, I'm going to Microsoft.

There's nothing like righteous indignation to wake a slumbering blog, eh?