“Well, fuck them, and fuck that.” – Marco Arment has some great thoughts on the Google Reader shutdown.
It’s been hard for me to be analytical about this shutdown because it made me pretty mad at Google, even though I don’t really have a right to be mad. I used Reader for years, and harder than most people who used it daily. I read my stories mainly via the various apps I used to read news hooked to the API, and hardly ever logged on to the web interface. I got a ton of value out of the Google Reader ecosystem over the years, and I never paid even a single dime to Google. (I have paid a fair amount of money to RSS Reader developers over the years, but that’s unrelated.)
I’ve found “good enough” replacements for the tools I was already using, and I am purposely using a backend rss service that I can pay for. (Feedbin) The crux of the point that Marco makes, that we should keep moving in spite of Google, is an important takeaway. The threat here is bigger than this single shutdown, and Marco actually does a great job of summing it up when he says, “Google Reader is just the latest casualty of the war that Facebook started, seemingly accidentally: the battle to own everything.” The anger I felt as a result of the shutdown was a reaction to having something I value greatly seemingly snatched away for no reason, and having no control over this result. This feeling of lack of control is actually the right motivation to support, as Marco calls it, “the antithesis of this new world.”