Google Reader Dies, RSS Lives!


Google Reader is dead, long live RSS!

I have a history with RSS, writing my first aggregator around 2000 (yes, in Perl) and over the years I got involved with RSS, aggregators, podcasting, videoblogging, and other things that all relied on RSS.

The real excitement for me in the area of aggregation development started in 2004 when Mr. Genehack suggested I look at FEED ON FEEDS. I did, and what followed was FEED ON FEEDS ala Bloglines, Feed on Feeds Unread List, More Aggregator Madness, Yet More Aggregator Madness and lots of time put into development of an RSS aggregator that fit my needs. I really enjoyed exploring new ideas and getting the functionality I wanted. (Mostly)

I wasn’t being paid to work on all this, it was just my “free time” project, and like all “free time” projects, the free time goes away and you work on other things. So it goes…

Eventually I moved to Google Reader and over time I got to love it. Like many, I use it daily. Daily. Multiple time per day. A lot. Back when Feed on Feeds was on my own server I’d use it at home on my computer, and at work on my computer. This was back in the days when people might have one computer, and use a desktop aggregator client. Some even had an “offline” mode, which was important back then because sometimes you were offline. (!?)

In recent years it’s become common to use Google Reader (with one of the many, many apps that used its back-end) on your phone, table, laptop, desktop, etc. I regularly used Reeder on my iPhone and iPad, and Google Reader via a browser on the 3 Macs I use each day. It worked, and I loved it.

Google is killing reader, and I’m not pleased. I could go back to hacking up my own code to build an aggregator, but I’m not excited about it anymore, and I’m out of practice with coding lately. It’s not something I want to do anymore. Google, I would probably pay for Reader. Others have said this as well. I’m sure this won’t change things, and it’ll still be killed (though I hope I’m wrong.)

So tell me Google Reader fanatics, what will you do?

5 replies on “Google Reader Dies, RSS Lives!”

Feedly and Reeder. Both say they will support after Google Reader dies. Feedly has already launched Normandy and add ins for most browsers, in addition to more server space since they got whacked yesterday after the announcement. I’m still waiting to see Reeder’s response.

Whichever one seems to have a business model.
I’m only half joking. It sounds like Reader had to fight for existence every single year inside Google. And if Google isn’t willing to keep it going just for the good will…

I’d much rather have something I host myself or a stand-alone app so I don’t have to worry about the whim of companies. Unfortunately I haven’t found anything that looks both current and featureful.

I gave Feedly a try last night, mostly impressed with their plans for dealing with Reader’s sunset. But today it’s completely overloaded. Five months is enough time for a lot to change. It’s not often that Google leaves so many die-hard users stranded. I bet by July 1st there will be twice as many RSS reader options.

Sure, a lot can happen in a few months. Hell, you could launch a startup this week and be ready by summer. :)

Times have changed so much I don’t know that I can run something on my own anymore… I’d want it work (well) on an iPad and my iPhone, and I’m not even looking for new features, just the existing feature set of Reader. (Yeah, innovation is good, but I also like things that “just work” sometimes.)

I’m sure there’s a ton of Google Reader users who would pay for it today if it were an option. I’d consider it, depending on pricing of course.

I’m not too worried, the open web finds a way to survive and route around the speed bumps.

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