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“... it's my fault that Google shut down Google Reader” (twitter.com)
70 points by rtpg on Sept 13, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 36 comments

Am I the only one who's becoming more tuned into these thinly veiled self-promotion tweets/comments/stories which are actually about something else?

I can't speak to this guy's motivations, but my tuned-up sensitivity to marketing/advertising has my radar going off.

You aren't alone. The goal for marketing is to get eyeballs and direct self-promotion is ignored and frowned upon. So you pick whatever you can that will get some attention, even if it is pointing out a failure or flaw (quite popular) and then be sure to put an enormous shout out to your product on the same page.

At least I get a nifty anecdote to go along with the self promotion.

I've noticed them more and more as well, but I am not sure if it's because (a) there are more self promoters now, (b) there is more reason than ever to self promote -- gold rush!, or (c) I myself am more sensitive to it now.

That being said, good move by said person for content marketing.

There is a term for this: Backdoor bragging. Source: Jenna Maroney in 30 Rock.

See also the "humblebrag".

Would these tweets be more like "humbleads"?

These tweets are great marketing for his new company Storyworth and I mean that seriously :)

No one (well, almost no one) would have known who this guy was and that a company called Storyworth existed, but now a lot more people will know about it and how the founder is older and wiser now compared to when he was at Google :)

I've actually been a Storyworth user for quite some time and it's a slick service. It has really helped me connect with my grandmother.

Can't agree more.

Not especially, in my opinion. In light of his comments to the effect that Reader was a failure because it didn't achieve 100M users, I'm not even remotely interested in whatever Storyworth is.

Why? That's not a number he invented, he's saying that that 100m is the user number that would have convinced Google execs to continue funding Reader.

The real question--unaddressed in these tweets--is why Google insisted on such a large user base to keep a project going.

That's fair, and I agree completely. I think I might have misinterpreted his tweet. Which, you know... twitter.

Big companies often have arbitrary guidelines such as "only billion dollar lines of businesses are worth having". In this case 100M users may have been the threshold where $1B/year in revenue from the product was realistic.

It seems like a large number, but at Google's scale it might actually be rather small. Google is a large company, and each product is something that takes resources that could be better spent somewhere else. I don't expect Honda or Ford to keep around a car that only sells a few thousand a year, knowing that it requires continual work and refinement, space in their plants to build, space on the lots to sell, and a business strategy. I don't expect Google to act any differently.

But now you have heard of Storyworth and that's the whole point.

But I could never do business with the guy that shut down Google Reader.

So who are Storyworths competitors? They can have my money

I used Reader back when it was going, and I'm still not sure why people are so obsessed over it. I mean, yeah, it was pretty cool, but like 20 replacements popped up as soon as Google announced they were cancelling it. I switched to Feedly long ago, and never looked back.

I used Reader daily, but after it was shut down I never picked up a new RSS aggregator. I stopped reading all but one of those bloggers. A big part of Reader's appeal was the network -- I enjoyed sharing blogs with friends of mine that were linked through Gchat. And I say that as someone who never got into any other social network.

It was probably better for my productivity, I suppose, but I still miss it.

I don't think many realized just how seamless it was with a few of Google's other aborted services. Buzz, I think, was the main way my friends saw what I commented on. And I would see people's replies in Gmail.

It was surprisingly well done. :(

And Google Listen for podcasts!

I basically just stopped dealing with RSS when reader folded up even though it was adding something to my life. I'm back to checking the same sites over and over throughout the day.

Same here. And... the number of sites has shrunken quite a bit.

I think the thing that had me, was Reader was a great way to expand you communication in the groups you were already in. I didn't have to join a new community. I was bringing new topics into mine.

Yeah, I'm very happy with newsblur, and sure it's got things about it I'd want changed, I'm going to keep giving them money for a long time.

I agree that NewsBlur is very good. I spent a while on Feedly, then moved to NewsBlur a year or two later and found it much more configurable and fitting with how I like to use my feeds. I started giving them money shortly after that.

There were dozens or more different desktop and mobile RSS apps which used Google Reader as their back-end. As soon as Reader shut down, they all lost their ability to have Reader download all the content from the cached feeds and sync to the client when connecting, which allowed people to have their computer off for days and come back without losing any content from their feeds (many feeds have 30 or less items at a time, and if you don't check for a while, you'll simply miss many posts).

New syncing systems came up in its place, but it fragmented the market and different apps started using different backends, or their own paid backends, and there was no longer a de-facto standard backend protocol that everything supported.

8 odd tweets and not much real context/content related to the sensational title. Sounds more like rambling.

I have to thank Nick for my current startup (we actually say so on our about page) :-) I used to rely on Reader so much that it was my gateway to the internet. When it got cancelled, I realized that I needed a way to stop relying on free centralized services. I wish they had released the code so that I could have self-hosted this (big thumbs up to parse/facebook for doing this the right way).

Plenty of engineers would have worked on it for free. Vic killed it. Never forget.

Willing to elaborate or point me somewhere to read more? I'd love to hear the story here.

I wonder how many other people in the hierarchy of that product (or really, any other that met a similar fate) would cast the blame on themselves. Especially with the legacy that Google Reader has left.

That said, I wonder the details of why it was discontinued (the gritty details available to the final decision makers) and whether those same people who blame themselves today might still have decided to discontinue it had they had the total picture.

It's a roll-your-own solution, but tt-rss has been an exceedingly great replacement for Reader when it closed down. (And as long as RSS exists, I never have to worry about my service going away.)


Side note: Feedly is a great modern reader.


GV is long been dead. But its death is not as important as the slow death of RSS itself. Your tweet makes no mention of the value of RSS, which is a tragedy in itself.

Well, good thing RSS is still not completely dead and there are services like Digg which are still maintaining a good Reader.

And how many active users does Google+ have now?

The manager-gone-founder has sympathies and apologies for the destructive ideology of his capitalist master. Of course. The majority of managers have this same character -- it's their class nature. Be wary of trusting these people ;)

Well, get your pickforks.

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