As anybody who has Google Reader knows, Google is discontinuing its RSS reader on July 1st of this year. After reading the outrage of the other bloggers that I follow I suppose it’s a bit redundant of me to whine about it too, but seriously, first they axe iGoogle (which I really liked as a dashboard) and now this. I wonder how much time and sweat I should invest in any other, or future, Google products.
I started using Google Reader in my undergrad years, dabbling in it, following only a handful of cooking and how-to blogs. It wasn’t until my library school years that I fully harnessed the power of Really Simple Syndication. First I followed because I had to, but soon reading the feed pouring in from my subscriptions became a couple times a day habit. My reader was constantly running at “All items (1000+) which I find totally insane because who can read 1000+ posts? Even crazier is that with every subscription that I excised, I seemed to replace it with two more.
Funny that just recently I was complaining that I spend way too much time in my reader, pursuing that endless quest to keep the number under 1000.
The reality is that the shelf life of many web applications might be expected to be pretty short, especially if you’re talking about the free ones. The ones that might have a better chance at survival have pay versions that give you full access to special features.
Another reality is that many of the web applications that we devote so much time to are vulnerable to the theft or loss of data. Interesting that while we are told that anything that we put out on the internet is there forever, this same forever information can easily escape our grasp. Until individuals can host their own cloud content I don’t see that there’s much you can do except to back up your data in multiple places.
Perhaps I have become too enthralled by the shininess of free online things, especially if it makes me feel so disappointed when they are gone. I enjoy figuring these new applications out, though, and I can’t count how many I have tried and discarded over the past few years. I almost have myself convinced that this is a valid hobby.
I suppose the moral of this story is: don’t keep all of your data in one cloud basket. Or at least if you do, don’t complain about losing something you weren’t paying for anyway.
Now…on to find that reader replacement…………..>