Google SVP Technical Infrastructure and Google Fellow Urs Hölzle wrote a blog post about doing some spring cleaning including the shut-down of Google Reader, a popular RSS reader service that was launched in 2005 so that people can stay on top of their favorite websites. Personally I use Google Reader on a daily basis and spend hours of time on it per day. I will be sad to see the service go, but Bob Dylan once wrote “the times they are a-changin.'”
There is a petition to keep Google Reader running with over 58,000 signatures put together by Dan Lewis. Here is what the petition says in full:
A few years ago — years, wow — Google Reader was one of my go-to social networks. It was an accidental one. I was using it for its intended purpose — aggregating and reading a lot of web content in one place — but it turns out, a lot of other people were doing the same thing. A lot. Many of which shared interests and when you added the amazing (amazing!) share and comment features, Google Reader blossomed into a wonderful experience for many of us, core to our day-to-day consumption of content online.
Unfortunately, you decided to kill those “extra” functions. I’m not here to ask you to reverse that (you should, though). In doing so, Google Reader’s day-to-day value declined, and I, like many, ended up using it less often. Instead of hitting the bookmarklet I have on my Chrome install three, four times a day, it’s now a once a day (okay, once every other day more often, recently) experience.
But it’s still a core part of my Internet use. And of the many, many others who are signed below.
Our confidence in Google’s other products — Gmail, YouTube, and yes, even Plus — requires that we trust you in respecting how and why we use your other products. This isn’t just about our data in Reader. This is about us using your product because we love it, because it makes our lives better, and because we trust you not to nuke it.
So, please don’t destroy that trust. You’re a huge corporation, with a market cap which rivals the GDP of nations. You’re able to dedicate 20% of your time to products which may never seen the light of day. You experiment in self-driving cars and really cool eyewear which we trust (trust!) you’ll use in a manner respectful to our needs, interests, etc.
Show us you care.
Don’t kill Google Reader.