TechCrunch blogger MG Seigler recently blogged on Google Reader: “Google-reader-still-trying-to-figure-out-this-whole-social-thing-still-failing”
I use Google Reader, but not as a social platform, purely as the back-end service that collects feeds that I subscribe to, and connects to various end-points I use to access the feeds. In fact I don’t even use it as a the UI presentation layer to read the feeds. For the web front-end I use Feedly as I’ve blogged here previously : – Blog post about Feedly For my mobile interface I use Viigo, and therefore Google Reader provides the sync and glue between my primary end-points.
Again the author’s point about the lack of social features, isn’t incorrect. But the primarily function of ‘feed reader’ is to provide a good feed and feed management interface; not to become a social networking tool.
I just wonder if that is truly the direction that Google wants to take the product? Not that the sharing isn’t valuable, but I think Google will want to be the primary RSS reader/aggregation service 1st and foremost because that will be of closest affinity to its search products – i.e. why they bought Feedburner. Google will also be well aware of competitor social & real time products that do the ‘social’ part much more effectively; if they bought Feedburner, it makes sense they will acquire what they need when they think it’s time to do so.
Fair point in the world of real time, RSS is a not in the race. But that’s a function of search and speed not what RSS was designed or to meant to do.
However, it’s definitely not the time to switch it off/or turn away from it completely. Perhaps in Steve’s case it no longer satisfies the ‘speed and delivery’ stakes in comparison to Twitter and the rest of the cohorts on the social media wave. But Steve’s role is out there at the very edge of it all and he needs his tools to stay in that position.
I think for most ‘ordinary Joe’s’ the eclipse of RSS by Twitter and real time search services is not a reason to move away from RSS, but rather to decide on what tools or functions provides a useful balance of both going forward.