inessential by Brent Simmons

RSS Sync Apocalypse Preview

Google Reader has been having some issues.

Here’s the thing: a bunch of RSS readers rely on Google Reader for syncing — but Google Reader is not a syncing service, and its APIs are undocumented and unsupported.

TechCrunch describes Google Reader as “benignly abandoned” — which, for native RSS readers that use it, is worse than actual abandonment, because broken syncing is worse than no syncing.

My friend Jake asks if Google could spin off Reader. My guess: it’s not worth their time to pursue. What they’d get for it isn’t worth the time to consider it. (And that’s before you factor in the difficulty of transferring it.)

Google has learned to focus, and they’re doing some great work. (I especially like Google Maps for iOS.)

Part of learning to focus is learning how to shut things down. Google has done well at that — but I’m surprised that Google Reader hasn’t been shut down yet. Better a clean shut-down than an ungraceful end.