Who Killed Google Reader?

In 2004, most people weren’t viewing the internet through a bunch of social networks and algorithmic feeds. Facebook and Twitter were barely blips on the radar. At that point, most people experienced the internet by typing in URLs and going to websites. A few tools like NetNewsWire and Bloglines had cropped up to make it easier to subscribe to lots of sites in one place, but these RSS readers were mostly tools for nerds. Most users were stuck managing bookmarks and browser windows and furiously refreshing their favorite sites just to see what was new. Wetherell’s prototype wasn’t complicated like NetNewsWire, it didn’t crash like Bloglines, and the Javascript interface felt fast and smooth. It immediately felt like a better way to keep up with the web.

"Who Killed Google Reader?"

Makes me want to build an RSS reader. Also makes me wonder if the internet could have been just a little bit different had Google thrown what they had at this thing. Maybe that's naive or idealistic, but a social network built around following real things, perhaps built a bit more organically, sounds pretty pleasant given all the current shit out there.

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