Google Reader is shutting down for good next month, according to a popup window when I logged into Google Reader a few days ago and the absolute fury of everyone who matters on the internet.
I have been using Google Reader for years and it is basically a repository of every blog I’ve read since about 2007. If you could run data analysis on that information you would be able to deliver the most targeted advertising any marketer could dream of.
But here’s the rub: despite the obvious enormous insights into personal information consumption (which obviously informs purchasing decisions, voting decisions and software selection decisions), Google did not think Google Reader justified being maintained while they try and move everything to Google+.
This throws up an interesting conundrum – if big data is so wonderful, and Google, being the big data natural monopoly due to how many free services it has years of usage history on, doesn’t want to let content live outside of the Google+ ecosystem, why would you dump a service almost everyone who matters on the internet uses daily.
I think the truth is somewhere between wanting everyone to migrate their writing to Google+ and not being able to make money off people likely to have installed AdBlock in Chrome or Firefox.
We all know the trope – if you’re not paying for a product, you are the product. Google is in an innovation death spiral, and fancy glasses that most people would never wear because they look retarded will not save the company from the relentless competition in the technology marketplace.
If you are subscribing to my blog in Google Reader or by email, I recommend switching to Feedly. They’ll automatically import your OPML data (all of the blogs you subscribe to) and you can extricate yourself from the Google ecosystem at least with respect to your intellectual diet!