The problem with free and RSS…


The internet has been awash with people bemoaning the decision by Google to close Google Reader. Probably the next biggest talking point has been people asking what they can use to replace it when it’s gone. I’m planning on giving a test-drive, once I can get my feeds imported. 🙂

The problem with free

This highlights one of the problems with free stuff. It’s not (always) really free. Google spent a few years building stuff, some of which was pretty cool, and most of which was free, but sooner or later they needed to find a way to monetize this stuff. That’s one thing that never happened with Reader, so not surprisingly it joined the growing list of things that have been cleaned away to make room for the more profitable stuff. It’s a pity Google didn’t first ask people if they were willing to pay a fee to keep the service. Like many others, I would have been willing to pay for the privilege of retaining it.

The problem with RSS

It also suggests that RSS was never really that popular. It’s easy when you are a tech-blogger to think the whole world reads blogs and cares about RSS, but the truth is most people just don’t give a crap. I use RSS to keep on top of things going on in the industry. If I relied on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook I would miss out on loads of things because the UK timezone doesn’t really fit with the vast majority of publishing in my chosen profession. Also, the signal:noise ratio of my RSS feeds is much better than that of most social media channels I subscribe to. So being one of the vast minority of people that actually do care about RSS has left me in a bad situation.

I’m interested to hear any thoughts on ways of ridding myself of RSS, or any other tools you’ve seen that might help me out of my current predicament. 🙂



Update: I’ve decided on for the moment.





Author: Tim...

DBA, Developer, Author, Trainer.

14 thoughts on “The problem with free and RSS…”

  1. Today I realized that most of my colleagues aren’t using RSS to follow blogs, forums or similar stuff and we are IT company. I thought that everyone is using some RSS reader and that Google Reader is very popular among IT people, earning a lot of money for Google.
    But, apparently, I was very wrong.

    Sites/Blogs without RSS don’t exist for me. As I follow many blogs it would be very very hard to follow all of them without RSS – almost impossible.

    I hope that Google will change it’s decision about retiring Reader. Still haven’t found suitable alternative as currently all of them are having difficulties with high load.


  2. There are a lot of apps out there that use RSS in one kind of another, for example on iPad, but I noticed on “Flipboard” they use GoogleReader as intermediate link solution… Hmmm :S Completely forgot about after initial configuration…

  3. …that said… Nowadays 50% of all the reads on my site comes in via “the web” (direct search or other browser related) and the other 50% are via RSS…

  4. I think I read about 3 blogs in total. I don’t think I need RSS to keep up to date with that? The main website I run has an RSS feed, but I rarely click on any of the links because generally I’ve already read the stories via the original website.

  5. Oh, and the main RSS feed on te website I manage is a complete pain as they keep changing the URL!

  6. I don’t think I’d even heard of Google Reader prior to reading this blog post…

  7. I switched to feedly. It imported all my feeds without me doing anything. So far I don’t feel it is inferior to google reader. The important point was that the switch was painless.

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