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Except what if Google wanted to kill RSS from the beginning? Feeds are the best way to bypass all "gatekeepers" and now they have questionable future because Google's "free" offering made competition pointless. The cache of feeds from 2004+ is also gone which is a whole other issue that leaves me very upset because that cannot be replaced with another web app.

> Feeds are the best way to bypass all "gatekeepers"

I'm not sure that's really true. PubSubHubbub -- which started out as a way to actively push updates to Atom/RSS feeds and has been generalized to be a way to do that for any HTTP resource -- seems to provide much of the same capacity, but to do so in a more general and better structured way (it requires the recipient to have the ability to receive as well as initiate HTTP requests, but it would be strange for someone complaining about Reader's demise to see that as a problem; any web-hosted feed reader is going to have to be able to serve HTTP requests anyway.)

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