Like Curious Mitch points out here Google Reader is not the only service in recent times to close its doors to consumers, particularly those that have grown up used to using ‘free’ or ‘freemium’ model services from various web enabled services.
In fact like Mitch I’ve blogged about a couple of service closures in recent times:
And also would add these services, which have recently shut their doors :
While I agree with Mitch about the need to assess your service portfolio and understand the risk/impact of closure of any service you may be consuming. Obviously the ‘free to use’ services would be presumed to be more vulnerable, it doesn’t mean those services you may be paying for are not at risk from a failing business model or an aggressive move from a competitor to acquire it. Remember what Nokia did with Dopplr or Google to Jaiku… (the list goes on and on).
Sure there may be pain in the disconnection and lose of services rendered by that service. But the thing to do is to “Be Prepared” to move on, switch services, try an alternative or something different. One door closing, is may be the opportunity for a new door to open. Make sure you have a way to liberate your data – and try and find services that support transition and transfer as easy as possible. Something that is a little more effort, but does build resilience of a kind is to spread your needs across a set of similar services. (e.g blog at Tumblr and WordPress)
So R.I.P and R n’R (rip and replace) go hand in hand in the developing world of internet services.
But this may be only phase or transition as these internet services evolve from start-up status, into established service provider and more technology infrastructure and utility service providers. Dion put a good post up on the acquisition spree of major enterprise vendors as they move into these service space. Perhaps these service discontinuation scenarios will become a less frequent issue in the future. When data movement is more easily transferable, and a common set of services is available more stable service providers. However, that may be conjecture… so remember – Change happens!