Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Death of Google Reader

I told you so.
But I'm worried about Reader. Reader is, IMHO, the app with the most transformative potential. It has been my experience that Reader usage correlates (and may I say, predicts) with an overall ability to construct an lucid argument. Acquaintances that don't use or know of Reader are *weeks* behind news cycles, and consistently lack insight or the depth of available knowledge/opinion on most topics.
Which is precisely why it's not a very popular product. Eventually, another Reader user will creep into your shares and start schooling you. The majority of us do not react well to this, and even few actively seek out that kind of interaction. Additionally, RSS, the technology that Reader is dependent on, is facing its own hurdles as competing standards and frameworks emerge in the mobile world.
- July, 2011
 Google's ruthless when it comes to monetizing its apps. With the exception of products still under the "Labs" moniker, everything Google produces must make money from their search products. This is one of the reasons I fear Reader, IMHO their product with the best chance of affecting social change, will be retired soon. It can't be monetized.
It bears repeating that ALL of Google's products are built on the back of your user data - what you searched for, what you clicked, what you eventually bought, and if Google can capture it, everything about your computer's browser, etc. Is there a behavior Google wants to analyze and market? They'll write an 'app' that gets it, and sell the data. Apps that don't/can't collect lots of sellable data won't stick around.
 - July 2011
It seems Google is moving from being a knowledge-services (read: search) organization to an social/advertising org, and I hope I'm wrong about that.
In its place a pale imitation having taken the form of a marketing company.
- November, 2011

Google is Evil.

 They built the world's most prolific (and profitable!) domestic surveillance system.  That's Google's business.

There really was a Golden Age. If you were a 'sharebro' then you know how good it was. Some bloggers think this opens up a market for Reader-like apps, but I don't. Google had the scaleable tech to make Reader work, and the upfront investment required to replicate it can't be supported by the number of customers (I'd like to be wrong about this.)