Saturday, March 23, 2013

Stay Calm and Carry On: People Overreacting to the End of Google Reader

John Gruber of Daring Fireball argues that Google has a trust problem because it will soon no longer support Google Reader.  Gruber explains that he understands that "[a]ll companies cancel services and abandon apps. The difference with Google Reader is that they’ve canceled something beloved." See also Ezra Klein's article in The Washington Post, cited by Gruber:
Together, the Gmail experience, the death of Google Reader, and the closure of Picnik all have me questioning whether I want to keep investing time and energy in “free” Google products or whether I need to start looking for paid services that are explicitly making money off the thing I am paying them to do.
(Klein is unhappy that Google won't increase his Gmail storage beyond 30GB even for a fee.  I have to say that I can see Google's point of view.  Gmail wasn't designed for mass storage.)

Gruber's argument assumes that only forlorn products and services come to an end.  This just isn't so; beloved things come to an end too.  As Lauren Weinstein explains "the world survived the cancellation of [Star] Trek, and we'll survive the retirement of Reader as well. And just as Trek eventually was renewed and became stronger, there are reasons to believe that RSS -- if it continues to serve a useful purpose -- will also do the same."

Google Reader is not an entitlement.  Products and services in the tech world change quickly.  Stay calm and carry on.  Life will go on without Google Reader.