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Google Reader gone

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ownCloud is a bit too large for just replacing the Google Reader. ownCloud 5 is not ready yet, even the Android app does not support the RSS part very well yet AFAIK.

Yet another choice: Omea

I think this thread could be an appropriate place to post this:
Maybe it's not so much a case of "Google Reader Gone" as "Is RSS being killed"?
Will the death of Google Reader also be the death of RSS?

For a long time I have wondered about RSS and its use to Google. I mean, Google had this great information-gathering tool called GR (Google Reader), and you could all sorts of add-ons or scripts to it. The net result was something that:

* Really suited information junkies like me who detested advertising - you get all the information and there was an absence of adverts;
* RSS feeds were used as a standard delivery link (and GR later had a nifty way of faking an RSS feed if a website didn't have a formal RSS feed);
* Enabled you to check/read information snippets of what was put up on a website, but without actually visiting the proprietary source website (e.g., it could even be behind a paywall) that hosted that information.
* Gave you full control: only if you read something in the snippet that caught your interest would you click on the link to the website to read some more.
And it could all be done advertising-free. Perfect.    :Thmbsup:

Google even developed and published a bookmarklet that let you "subscribe" to a page you had landed on, so that it went into the GR subscription list.
Then Google seemed to drop support of that bookmarklet some time back, without any real explanation as to a solid business rationale for doing so.
Then Google seemed to drop support of the RSS-faking, without any real explanation as to a solid business rationale for doing so.

Now Google is killing GR altogether. Why? Ostensibly:
In the Googland blog, in the post [G] Powering Down Google Reader, it says:
There are two simple reasons for this: usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products.

--- End quote ---
There is some irony in this, because it is quite possible that, by virtue of their own Cavalier attitude to users needs, Google have encouraged users to reduce the use/reliance on their products/services, thereby negatively affecting user demand. For example, I have for about a year had serious misgivings about Google's direction, and have been limiting my use of Google products/services - holding back, waiting to see what the next product/service will be that Google will decide to unilaterally kill off without a by-your-leave.
So, Google kills off another product (GR), and again without any real explanation as to a solid business rationale for doing so. (It would not be correct to call the above quote a solid business rationale for killing off GR - it is an unsubstantiated statement).

Google's revenues are inextricably intertwined with advertising. The Google founders essentially invented and implemented or progressively acquired (by purchase) novel web-technological approaches to providing aggregated demographic services to advertisers - services that generated a major income stream for Google.
And that's why I had for a long time wondered about RSS and its use to Google.
You see, if you read web pages via a feed aggregator such as GR, then aren't you effectively statistically excluded from the count of the number of people viewing the web pages? This could be having an adverse effect on advertising statistics and pay-per-click revenues.

I rarely log in to either LinkedIn or Facebook - they are both potential time-bandits - and avoid using either, if I can help it. I also filter and send to Trash all emailed Notifications from LinkedIn or Facebook. There are just too many to read. If I get time, I will scan those items in Trash - usually the LinkedIn ones as they have a work-related and thus higher priority in my mind - before deleting them permanently.
I already get RSS feeds from the LinkedIn Blog and Facebook Notifications, but I read recently that Facebook will block ("not support") RSS feeds of Notifications for much longer. Now we probably know why.

That's my take too. Another related article:

It’s Not Just Reader – Google Kills Its RSS Subscription Browser Extension, Too

But now the extension is gone, and the message is clear: Google is getting out of the RSS business. It’s more than Google just shutting down a product that never gained mainstream traction and moving resources elsewhere – it’s about distancing itself from the RSS community as a whole.

It’s interesting that the extension has been removed ahead of the end date for Google Reader, since up until that time, Reader’s core audience will likely still be subscribing to new feeds. And it’s worth noting that the extension also supported other blog-reading services besides Google’s.

--- End quote ---

Two more:

Google, destroyer of ecosystems

The truth is this: Google destroyed the RSS feed reader ecosystem with a subsidized product, stifling its competitors and killing innovation. It then neglected Google Reader itself for years, after it had effectively become the only player. Today it does further damage by buggering up the already beleaguered links between publishers and readers. It would have been better for the Internet if Reader had never been at all.
--- End quote ---

How the Shutdown of Google Reader Threatens the Internet

As one example, many people now rely on social media as a primary news source.  In many cases–especially with “bi-directional” services like Facebook ($FB) or LinkedIn ($LKND) where people only connect with “friends”–social media only surfaces content from people who are likely to share common viewpoints.  Plus, those posts are culled by mysterious algorithms (such as the algorithm controlling Facebook’s newsfeed) that further reduce exposure to diverse viewpoints.
--- End quote ---

How long before feedburner goes down the drain? Or even blogger and blogspot?

Blogger may survive a few more years, but at the very least it will stop serving RSS.


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