One of the things I expected least to see in 2013 was that this year would mark the greatest flourishing of RSS reader applications in the decade since it first came to prominence on the web. But, with the death of Google Reader as a catalyst, dozens of alternatives and replacements have sprung up.
The fact that so many people spoke out about Reader’s closing, and that so many people threw their hat in the ring is representative of the fact that RSS is very much alive, even if it hasn’t evolved. And with so many people involved, tools are becoming more and more innovative.
Granted – I don’t believe Google would have been able to realize this before their announcement, but there are numerous issues with closing the tool that your most vocal customers (including most bloggers) use. It was a mistake that they decided to close Reader, but Google really shot itself in the foot by deciding NOT to release a new, more sophisticated tool for RSS.
If there’s a lesson to take from Apple’s success, it’s that focus on your customers is what leads to product success. When you try to move the cream of the crop to the tools the masses are using (read: the tools they’ve already rejected) they’re going to be mad.
In this particular case, Google hasn’t just affected the uptake of Google+ (what they’re hawking instead of Reader) but of all of their other tools as well, because they’ve created a trust issue.
tl:dr; Google made a mistake by closing reader, but the amount of choices it’s opened up for users is nothing short of amazing.
P.S.: HYPER employs RSS for all topics: if you’re interested in following the blog without missing posts, RSS is still the tool to use. Check out the feed to the left, or this page for more.