Matthew Roach

Google Reader

So with all the news of Google Reader shutting down has settled and everyone has had a say about it. Well technically not, as this is my post about the matter!

First things first, I am a avid Google Reader fan, and I do not just use it’s back end syncing, I actually log into the app, granted it might not be very often, but this is due to it’s poor mobile app offering, it obviously explains why the app was never revamped or given a facelift.

My theory on why Google decided to shut down Reader

They realised people where taking advantage of the back end syncing functionality and not using the actual product to consume their feeds. Now I am not saying this is anyone’s fault, well you could point the finger at Google themselves, but I feel it’s more personal preference.

Take for example twitter, I have only ever used their official client (apart from on my Work Windows computer, as they do have a native app yet), but you will find there are a ton of twitter client apps out there and everyone of them will have at least one user (Note: I have no stats for this). End of the day everyone has different ways they like to consume their content, and people will prefer a different app over the other due to the design, or the way it works.

This is a major problem for any web app developer, trying to build interfaces that everyone will use, you could not have an API to ensure people use your apps but that could open you to some bashing, but you could do a twitter and allow open API access then couple years later close it all off, as you realise a majority of your users are just using your technology’s backend and none of your apps, so what purpose does your app have then?

Now what?

So it’s been over a week since this news broke, and it’s still looking like Google is still going to be shutting down reader. Now what do I do? Well the day after hearing the news of Google shutting down reader, I started to put plans together to start building my own RSS reader web app, it’s been something on my mind for a long while but you know how things are, other projects take over as there is no real need to make your own just yet. But that time has come and I will make my own now.


The reason to make my own is simple really, because I can! And because I can, I control my own data and the life of the system. I actually control the whole system, so I get to put in some features I want and I get to make it work exactly for me rather than try and mould myself into a flow of someone else’s system.

So on that note back to working on it!