"It doesn't serve any additional utility"

Technology At some point in the next however many days, Google is updating Reader and merging its social function including public pages with Google+. People aren't happy. I'm not happy. Although I don't use the actually social functions for being social, it does run the back end of my @liverpoolblogs and @shakespearelogs aggregating twitter feeds, not to mention the miniblog to the right of this text, all of which are bound to keel over whenever Google decide to install the update. At some point. In the future. At a time they've been, as ever, quite vague about.

In this current climate of protest, I'm pleased to see that some users aren't taking this lying down and have picketed Google's headquarters in Washington. Apart from the ones who probably are lying down, like Arthur Dent in front of Prosser's digger.  The small crowd which turned up had suitably surreal banners and cute small child and managed to find a fair bit of press on local websites and elsewhere. Here's something on one of the local news stations:
"Very few of the people in front of 1101 New York Ave. (which — auggh! D.C.! — is really on I Street NW) are seasoned protesters. "I'm a Republican, dude," says Ellis, who works at Americans for Tax Reform. He loves getting exposed to blogs and writers he'd normally never come across and does not like Google+. "It doesn't serve any additional utility," he says.

No one at the protest plans to abandon Google products if Reader's social functions get stripped: "Where would we flee to?" Libresco asks. Gmail, says Ellis, "is too good to abandon."
Which is rather the problem. As far as online access RSS at least is concerned, Google has the monopoly, Bloglines having imploded in the past couple of years.  If this update fails, we're all stuck and waiting for this update is like waiting for a digital bomb to drop.  As for the various twitter feeds, I'll try and sort something out when and if they do go offline.  But the idea of running them through Yahoo Pipes again is giving me the wiggins.

Updated 31/10/2011  Google Reader has updated.  It looks spare and horrible but weirdly both @liverpoolblogs and @shakespearelogs are still working because the rss feed from the folder's public page is still working even if I can't gain access to it any more.  We'll leave them as they are for now and see what happens.  It has broken the miniblog which is tedious, though it'll just force me to post everything in-line which means more blog posts for you.

No comments:

Post a Comment