Index of Non-Evil: Google Shutting Down Google Reader
By: Dan Jeffers - Search Engine Optimization - 2014
The biggest news to most journalists, bloggers, and Twitterati yesterday was the announced shutdown of Google Reader. The announcement of a new Pope garnered more general headlines, but when it comes to trending topics on Twitter, it was Google Reader that came out on top. I know a lot of people who use Google Reader and feel, rightfully, upset. They found it a very useful tool, and trusted it as a repository of the things they needed to remember, find, and track. I feel the same way about iGoogle, which is also being shut down.
But though this is inconvenient and annoying, some of the reactions seem extreme. Even with the overtone of fake irony "I don't really mean it, but yes, I sort of do," that some blogger/journalists use when being self-absorbed. For example:
- This Forbes blogger calls it a "Strange attack on Bloggers"
- The Atlantic Wire describes it as a "Dagger to Blogger's Hearts"
- And TechCrunch, covering it's own internal anxiety, says that Google failed to deliver on it's "Don't be Evil" motto
Actual quotes from some of the coverage:
Does Google understand the concept of corporate social responsibility?
an entirely unnecessary attack on an important corner of the publi Internet...
I think there's plenty of room to be angry, and to campaign for Google to change its giant corportate mind. But, does Google really have an implicit responsibility to provide free tools that don't help its business? They often do, and they do ask us to give them the non-evil assumption when interpreting some of their mis-steps. But I don't think many journalists do anymore. Most Google coverage treats it as a large, inherently suspect, self-interested business.
In any case, maintaining tools like Google Reader only because they have a huge user-base who won't try anything new may be more evil than getting rid of it. There are some interesting, innovative start-ups who can fill this space. Smaller companies that don't need the huge scale of a Google product to justify their extistence. Some of these may be more attentive to users than the aging and negletected Google product. Give them a try. I'm going to try Newsblur, but here are some other options.