The real reason Google wants to kill RSS

In the beginning of the internet, its citizens each ran their own machines for email, ftp, web, etc. Twitter should be a protocol, not a website. Same with facebook/google+ style sites. Hell, it could all just run over email with a few special tags here and there. Decentralized and not under the control of anyone.


The lack of RSS support in chrome is the mostly the reason I still use Firefox.

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Whoa, they have RSS readers that aren’t cloud based? Huh, learn something new everyday.


Your friends have no idea what a StatusNet is. Or

It exists.

It’s like Facebook, not as slick, and your friends aren’t on it. So it’s like Google+, but not as slick.


Oh Lord, retiring a client is not killing a data format. RSS is a very restrictive format in any case. It would be nice if we made an RSS 3.0 with some lacking data nodes, like thumbnail for instance.


It was awesome, and I loved that internet, but it didn’t have one thing - everybody else. It was for the few technically savvy, or those with savvy relatives. It was maybe even better that way, if the unwashed hordes and eternal Septembers are troubling. But it’s twitter, facebook, google’s services, et al, that let everyone else interact the same way. In some ways, though there were fewer 990 lb gorillas, it was actually less democratic.

I’m not sure that the internet we have is better than the one we had, but in this one, my 12 year old nephew can put up his own birding blog. There’s something to be said for that.

(Disclaimer: I don’t like having 900 lb animals in my playground, either. I’m just saying there’s a reason things are the way they are, and the accounting is ambiguous enough that I’m not willing to call it a net loss.)


Google still owns FeedBurner (which uses Atom/RSS), and Google doesn’t have a proprietary feed system or reader of any sort. If they wanted to kill RSS, they’d need to offer a compelling alternative.

Google Reader was a popular product, but popularity isn’t enough for the “more wood fewer arrows” campaign. Monetization is probably a factor, and there’s probably a component for how close to core business areas the product is. I’m guessing the cost of keeping the service running is also in there. Reader obviously failed on one of those fronts, if not more.

Need a new hobby, writer perhaps?

This is BS rant… The next day GReader was shut down, Google announced updates to PubSubHubbub (aka PUsH) protocol and Feed API for better and faster message transfer without the need of periodic polling… And yes, those are Open Source and completely free to use and implement in your own services… Many RSS/Atom feeds are already PUsH-enabled which allows compatible RSS-clients to receive content updates as soon as they are published without polling the server every 5 minutes… I personally use TinyTinyRSS now, which supports that easily…

I’m really sorry that Google is killing its client as I really enjoyed using it. Reader was one of the few remaining Google services that I used. I’ve already found several viable replacements so it’s not skin off my nose.

Google is slowly making itself irrelevant to the way that I use the Internet. This is no skin off my nose as well.


Woh, woh, woh! Wait a minute. No use to turn everything into a conspirative theory.
The thing I noticed was: most people just don’t grasp the power of RSS: the convenience of grouping all your favorite blogs into one reader and of being able to do a news roundup without having to visit each and every site. That’s probably because most people really don’t care that much about diversity of information. They really just want pay occasional visits to two, maybe three blog sites. That’s all. To them, RSS is a mystery. Very few are those who, like myself, follow about 200 blogs and enjoy the power of RSS: to be able to separate the content and regroup it according to one’s need and then being able to browse it like one was zapping through myriads of TV channels. That’s why there never really was a browser race in the field of RSS readers and I, for myself, am still using a version of Netnewswire from 2008 because no significant progress has been made since then. On the contrary. Readers have begun to disappear around '05 already and Firefox has removed the small, conveniant RSS Icon in its menu bar years ago already, thus givin RSS a much harder blow than what Google does right now. The good news is: RSS will still not die, even if RSS readers have failed to become a standard, because RSS has become a standard in movable type and I guess there will always be some sort of geeky ready aroud for the rest of us.
As a side note: I always despised Google Reader anyway :wink:

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I also loved the concept but hated the application. Just getting used to Feedly which will do fornow …

I don’t have an issue with the 990 lb gorillas. I don’t even think people need to be running their own sites. They just need a healthy ecosystem of providers to provide competition. That’s exactly what we have with email and blogs right now. Nobody but a select few run their own email or blog software installations, but they have numerous options to go to for that service. In email, you have gmail which is the 990 lb gorilla, but because it has to interact with other systems, it’s limited in how evil it can be.

We as an internet community need to decry sites like facebook and google+ that don’t work together with each other. We need to make it super-easy for people to somehow move their facebook page from facebook to diaspora while keeping their friends. Instead, we just throw our hands up and accept the current situation. We need to fight lock-in at every step.

It’s funny that you bring up blogs as a counter-example of what I’m talking about, because blogs are a particularly good example of a system that’s working, as the article discussed.

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I can’t say I disagree - walled gardens == bad is almost a syllogism.

And I think I at least partly misunderstood you - I thought that part of what you were decrying was the third party services (eg.,, blogspot, etc.) that don’t let you have the same control as one does with your own hosting account and set up. I certainly prefer the latter, but the former is valuable for those that can’t do that themselves as well.

In short, I think we agree, and my first posts on the new Discourse system were relatively content free :slight_smile:

I never saw it as Google trying to kill RSS. Just saw it as a company moving resources to a more profitable area. Did Apple’s refusal to mess around with Flash, kill it? Not a perfect analogy but you get my drift. And even though Google Reader was great, RSS feeds have always been something I preferred to get through Owl, Opera, or Thunderbird. The cloud, er Google, already knows too much about me as it is.

I think someone is reading too far into this. Google simply probably couldn’t figure out a way to monetize it to sustain its existence.

This rant makes absolutely no sense. Google’s entire income comes from scanning the open web so it can be searched and providing the best results so people keep coming back to use it. Anything they do to make it more closed makes them LOSE MONEY. That’s not the reason they closed Reader.

Dumb question: why should a for profit company like Google have to keep Reader running when they couldn’t monetize it? Is Google a charity or a government service? Just because Google killed Reader doesn’t mean that someone else can’t make a competitor. Go beg Microsoft, Yahoo, the DOD, France, or Rupert Murdoch.


“fuck them, and fuck that”

is really uncalled for. This is just spitting in the face of a company that provided a free service for several years and then discontinued it. They deserve contempt for this?

And they are entitled to. I loved Reader; I used it every day. I love Mountain Dew; Pepsi is free to discontinue it.

I think in either case, it would be stupid to kill either. But I’m just a some guy.

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That might have been a valid point ten or twelve years ago. Google’s making money by mining your data—why do you think all their services are free? Because they’re skimming all of your Gmail messages and Google Voice messages to improve their own tech. The first time you saw an ad based on the something you’d discussed in an email, that should have been pretty clear. All the money Google is making and will make on their voice recognition tech? They built that tech because they had unfettered access to your data. Google+ is not the “open web,” either.