Google Reader is departing for good on Monday, and we’ve seen no shortage of posts on what this means for the news industry and fans of the beloved product. We’ve come up with your best options for replacing the product if you were a fan, but for some people, it’s still a bummer that Google killed the product at all.
And for Kevin Fox, who worked on Google Reader back in the early days, it’s particularly personal. Fox published a sincere thanks on Friday afternoon to all of the fans of Google Reader, and noted that at least it’s a better end than many products see: “Looking on the bright side, closing down a site with an active user base gives us all the opportunity to celebrate the product’s 7.5 year run in a much richer way than the far more common ‘last one here please turn off the lights’ kind of demise.”
Fox wrote that of course he’s disapointed that Google ended the project, but wrote that we’ve never seen such innovation on how we deliver and consume news in recent years, and the RSS replacements cropping up speak to that. He explains in his post:
“Am I melancholy? Of course. Do I wish that Google wasn’t shutting down Reader? Duh. Yet in the midst of my mourning I’m excited by how many flowers are blooming in Reader’s wake. It’s really unprecedented. A testament both to the ever-lowering barrier to entry for website and mobile app creators, and the global demand for managing constantly growing streams of information (hardly just news sites), this is a cottage industry that is being reborn with vigor right before our eyes. I’m certain that in the coming years we’ll see a new breed of product, borne on the backs of ‘news’ and ‘social’ that both owes its invention to those aggregators that came before, and makes them look primitive in retrospect.”