Tag Archives: Google Reader

Google Latitude: another one bites the dust

Google announced today that starting August 9th, Google Latitude (a.k.a. their failed attempt at a Foursquare) will be gone.

The first thing that I thought was “Wait, this thing actually outlived Google Reader?” I think that priorities up in Mountain View have been a little off. (No news there).

The good news is that unlike Google Reader, nobody will really miss Latitude. The bad is that Google is still pretty consistent with their “kill services one by one to keep pushing our pointless Google+” plan. I wonder which will be next.

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Marco Arment writes about Google’s decision to kill Google Reader

Excellent text by Marco Arment on the subject:

“Google Reader is just the latest casualty of the war that Facebook started, seemingly accidentally: the battle to own everything. While Google did technically “own” Reader and could make some use of the huge amount of news and attention data flowing through it, it conflicted with their far more important Google+ strategy: they need everyone reading and sharing everything through Google+ so they can compete with Facebook for ad-targeting data, ad dollars, growth, and relevance.”

Stop what you’re doing go read Arment’s text. It’ll be worth it..

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Hey, Google, where’s your focus?
Focusing on less products for a better experience

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Google on Google Reader’s deactivation: It’s the users’ fault

In an interview for Wired, Google’s Senior Director of News and Social Products, Richard Gringras, said that Google Reader died for the following reason:

“Users with smartphones and tablets are consuming news in bits and bites throughout the course of the day — replacing the old standard behaviors of news consumption over breakfast along with a leisurely read at the end of the day. (…) [Google is looking into] pervasive means to surface news across [Google’s] products to address each user’s interest with the right information at the right time via the most appropriate means.”

So he’s saying that Google Reader died because we stopped reading news in the morning and at night, and started reading them all throughout the day? What the hell part of that wasn’t Google Reader good for? Newspaper-in-the-morning-light-read-at-night died about 15 years ago, way before Google Reader ever existed. Actually, Google Reader helped changing this very habit.

I don’t think I know anybody who didn’t leave a Google Reader tab open all day long to ‘consume news in bits and bites throughout the day’. What the hell is RSS for, then?

The latter part of the text shows the true reason behind the killing of Google Reader. People just wouldn’t use the damn Google+ and their new shove-it-down-their-throats service Google Now if Google Reader was still around.

“Address each user’s interest with the right information at the right time via the most appropriate means?”. Absolutely not. I’ll chose what I want to read, when I want to read it, where I want to read it. Thank you very much.

Via Wired

Related posts:
Hey, Google, where’s your focus?
Focusing on less products for a better experience
Google’s obsession with a successful social network

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Aggregga: Good potential for a Brazilian replacement for Google Reader

After testing the usual suspects to replace Google Reader, I’ve been settling with Feedly on the PC and Reeder on my Mac. Both felt way better than The Old Reader, for instance, which took forever to update the feeds and show news that by the time I got them, weren’t that much news anymore.

However, I still miss one of the coolest features Google Reader used to have, which was removed when they tried to shamefully pimp their everpointless Google+: the possibility to share news right in there, without depending on Facebook, Twitter and such. My list of followers and followees was different from the people from my Twitter or Facebook, which allowed me to build a more refined source of news besides the websites I already followed. Infact, I am still pretty shocked at the fact that something this essential is still missing across all the main Google Reader replacement candidates. I see this as such a basic feature.

One website that has given attention to that was Aggregga. It was launched less than a month ago, and is still in beta. I think that there is a lot of room for improvement from the user experience point of view as well as information architecture, but the effort to bring back the independent sharing feature made me hopeful. If the website keeps up the energy and evolves the right way, it could be a good option right there with the big ones to replace Google Reader. Afterall, the biggest feature that is missing from all the others is exactly what got Aggregga started.

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Hey, Google, where’s your focus?

So Google decided to kill Google Reader to focus on less products in order to provide users with a better experience, right?

I wonder if they hadn’t wasted their time building a gazillion idiotic April Fools’ Day interactions like Treasure Hunt, Closing Down YouTube, Google Nose, Google+ Emoticons, Gmail Blue, ISS Visitors on Analytics, Pimp My House, Google Fiber Poles, Levity Algorithm, Wallet Mobile ATM, Save Analytics on Papyrus, Patapata, Make an Awesome app, and probably others that nobody even noticed, if they’d have figured out a way to keep Google Reader alive.

How much time and money (think meetings, ideas, scripting, development, implementation, interviewing captioning, video editing, production, etc..) did they spend on this truckload of pointless unfunny gimmicks? Where is the focus that was so important to seal Google Reader’s fate, which was actually useful?

Google’s April Fools’ Day was useful for one thing: to show how when it comes to their users, every day is Fools’ Day.

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Focusing on less products for a better experience

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Focusing on less products for a better experience

Google says they killed Google Reader to focus on less products aiming at a better experience, and yet they present a talking shoe at SXSW.

Google Shoe

Consistent.

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Google’s obsession with a successful social network

I`m still really pissed that Google Reader is going away.  Reading all the news on the subject this week, made it even worse. The most ironic finding of the week was a post at the Google Reader blog from 2010, talking about how it was sad that Bloglines was shutting down and welcoming their users, as well as celebrating with dataless graphs the vertiginous growth of Google Reader users over the course of 5 years.

Google Reader users over time

Very different from this week’susage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products. We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience.”

Declined, you say? Well, why the hell could this be? Perhaps because since 2010 you’ve been repeatedly screwing it up? Like when in one of your many dick moves you removed the Sharing features from GReader so people would feel forced compelled to use your thousandth attempt at a social network that is Google+ to share links with friends?

Orkut, Google Friend Connect, Wave, Buzz, Plus. You really need to get a successful social network, don’t you? So much that it’s ok if you automatically enroll all of your users, leaving their privacy to be dealt with if they sue. I remember the case of a woman that had been suffering from abusive behavior of her ex-husband, and thanks to this automatic enrolling into Buzz, the guy managed to find not only information about her, but about who she was currently seeing as well.

After a shitstorm of cases like this, Google came out an apologized for this dick move. But I guess that it wasn’t that much of a lesson, as they did the exact same thing with Google+, then ridiculously boastered about how much the social network had been growing. They even included actual numbers this time.

You can’t justify killing Reader because of declined usage if you were the ones who caused this in the first place. If you break something, you fix it. Don’t believe me? Ask Eddy Cue. But I get it. Google Reader drives traffic to websites, while G+ drives traffic to, well, G+. But hey, Google Reader doesn’t make any money at all, so why keep it, right?

Google’s obsession on making Plus work has always been borderline dishonest. But this week they really outdid themselves. When a company cares so much about making one of their products work that they don’t let a silly little thing like their users stand in the way, this really makes you think how they ever had “Don’t be evil” as their motto.

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