For a different take on the demise of Google Reader, click here.
By Heather Muse, editor
FORTUNE -- In some ways, it seems like the death of Google Reader unleashed a hydra -- destroy one RSS reader, and several pop up in its place: namely Feedly, AOL Reader and Digg Reader, among others.
As my colleague Ryan Bradley points out, the social aspect of Google Reader was one its most appealing parts. When Google (GOOG) shuttered the sharing features of Reader and migrated them to Google+, it killed off the community aspect, which appealed to many of its core users. And while I still miss the sharing and social aspect of Google Reader (and will definitely try Potluck), I know that Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and so-called "dark social" platforms like email and chat can scratch that communicative itch. The real reason that the RSS hydra is sprouting is because of time shifting.
For information junkies -- or anyone who has ever had to make a living blogging -- RSS readers are invaluable. Twitter operates as pure flow: miss an hour, and you're going to miss a lot, and trying to comb through the archives is an exercise in futility. RSS allows for someone to step away, come back and browse. Sure, there are times when users have to declare "RSS bankruptcy" and mark the 1000+ unread items in his or her reader as read without combing through, but for the most part someone can catch up on the day's news, skim headlines and read at a more leisurely pace.
Plus, there's the bonus of RSS tending to "never forget" a post. If someone posted something on a blog and later deletes, frequently the deleted piece stays in RSS, another reminder that once something hits the Internet, it's there forever. So I celebrate these companies picking up where Google Reader left off. My replacement of choice is Feedly, because if I'm being honest, I really hate change to "my Internet," and the Feedly "Titles Only" view mimics Google Reader perfectly. It was easy to import my feeds, and the mobile versions are great.
Now I can go about my usual business of skimming tons of information quickly and efficiently while cursing when a site only posts a video without descriptive text underneath. Like I said, I really hate Internet change.
There's a right way to ax your products - and many wrong ones.
By Verne Kopytoff
FORTUNE -- A company announces plans to kill a once-popular product. Executives lay the blame on slumping sales and changing priorities. Such decisions are a routine part of doing business. They also require ample forethought to avoid alienating customers, violating contracts, and racking up extra costs.
Google's (GOOG) announcement last week that it would shutter Reader, MOREMar 19, 2013 9:26 AM ET
Absent a change of heart by Google, Reader will join a short list of beloved technologies sent to the grave.
By Verne Kopytoff
FORTUNE -- Technology companies shutter products all the time. New tablets sometimes flop. Apps fall out of favor. Hardly anyone notices, and even fewer people complain.
But there are exceptions like the uproar aimed at Google (GOOG) this week after it disclosed plans to kill Reader, a service that MOREMar 15, 2013 8:01 AM ET
Why is Google killing its RSS reader?
By Ryan Bradley, senior editor
FORTUNE -- They must have known in Mountain View that the biggest howl would come from the press -- all us news junkies, crying over our loss. For five years going there has been nothing better than Google's stripped-down RSS reader for plowing through story after story with astonishing speed.
And now, come July 1, it will be no more.
The amount of MOREMar 14, 2013 4:02 PM ET
Also: how startups are tracking you to build a cyber reputation; how living room PCs will take on video game consoles.
Google's lost social network [BUZZ FEED]
The difficulty was that Reader users, while hyperengaged with the product, never snowballed into the tens or hundreds of millions. Brian Shih became the product manager for Reader in the fall of 2008. "If Reader were its own startup, it's the kind of company that Google MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Dec 10, 2012 5:30 AM ET
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* A titillating in-depth look at Andrew Mason and Groupon's inner machinations that allegedly reveals how the company rapidly evolved into a 10,000-strong organization, what Mason is really like, and why the company lost key executives like COO Margo Georgiadis earlier this year. (Business Insider)
* TechCrunch columnist MG Siegler reports that Google (GOOG) is prepping a MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Nov 1, 2011 3:30 AM ET
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