2340 – Shadow Of A Doubt

Well, you know, among photographers Apple is the almost universally beloved company. Everybody has a Mac, everybody has an iPhone, but we computer folks generally prefer Google.

Google is an interesting company. They produce extremely cool things, and by giving them away for free, they became incredibly rich. Like with Facebook, Google’s real product are their users, or better, their data, but compared to Facebook I have always felt that Google gives equally back. I’ve never felt ripped by them. What they give for your data is not a cage where they expect you to live your digital life, it’s a set of extremely useful tools, programs as well as programming libraries.

Sometimes I really wish they were a slightly more normal company. One that sells programs or services. It’s great to be given things like Google Search, GMail or Google Docs for free, but you begin to depend on their greatness, and once you do, it can really hurt if they close a service.

Like they’ll do with Google Reader. Reader is simply my most-used application. It’s my door to the Internet, it’s the way I organize what I want to read, how I want to read it and when. It’s a place where I am in control, where I pull what I want to see and where nobody can push things on me. It’s the heart of my information workflow and this heart is about to die.

I really wish they would continue the service and charge money for it. No problem. How much? Maybe a dollar a month would be the sweet spot, keeping most of their users from looking for alternatives.

At the moment there is a turmoil about it on Google+ and elsewhere, and I really ask myself if giving up on a product that makes for meager business but that users really, really want, is worth it. I think it was a bad move, ill considered, and the damage to their image as “Good Guys” can hardly be compensated by any savings from killing Reader. You know, it felt good to have a company that you could trust in. Now we all have our doubts.

Whichever way this is going to play out, I have no doubt that the Internet will provide a viable alternative until June. Several projects have been proposed and we will be able to carry on as usual. But maybe Google will even reconsider and #savereader. The demand is there.

The Song of the Day is “Shadow Of A Doubt” from Beth Orton’s 2006 album “Comfort Of Strangers”. Hear it on YouTube.

4 thoughts on “2340 – Shadow Of A Doubt”

  1. You put your finger on it when you wrote that its a place where things aren’t pushed on you. That’s exactly the reason that I deleted my Facebook account. I hate it’s invasive nature. I’ve come to rely on reeder too, across a couple of platforms and it will be a loss. If you find another solution let us know!

  2. Once upon a time I was almost 100% Google. Then they started removing some of their services. At first it didn’t matter so much but it started to hurt when they closed Google Notebook, iGoogle and various other services I’d invested time in.Google Reader is the last of the Google products I use and it is the one I use the most. It is my primary portal to the Internet. The problem with Google is two-fold as I see it. First their customers are corporate companies not the people who use their products. Second, they do not provide a subscription option for most of their products. As such since we do not pay them and we are not even customers we have no retort when they close down a service.
    I would guess that the primary factor which played a role in gReader’s demise is the fact that it didn’t make any money for Google. There was no easy way for them to plug adverts in the feeds.

    Having said all this, the end of gReader is probably not a bad thing. I suspect there will be new players now that it will not be around. Anyway, I too am looking for an alternative and have been for some time as it’s been clear for a while that gReader was on the way out. There isn’t much out there that offers the ease of use that gReader offers. Feedly is fairly good, a little buggy but no use to me as it is only iOS and Android. There’s bloglovin which I have yet to try, newsblur, netvibes and a couple of others but none provide an app for WP so I might be left out completely come July.

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