Sorry Google; you can Keep it to yourself

350 thoughts on “Sorry Google; you can Keep it to yourself”

  1. It is almost like Google did a lobotomy on the Internet with the decision to cancel Reader. People had too much independent thinking, not enough on Google’s terms.

  2. You guys should have called Reader a moonshot and hype it up, everything would be fine. Keep is just a test for the new drive API, it also highlights how lousy Google still is in integration of data models (Location, Calendar, Notes, …..).

    1. I agree violently: this is the right decision for the wrong reason. You shouldn’t avoid Google Keep because they killed Reader. You should avoid Google Keep because *they already killed Keep when it was named Notebook*. Reader alone is merely a weak reason to avoid non-core Google products in general; but avoiding a release of a product they already killed is a very good reason.

      1. I disagree. If a company shows a pattern that they (seemingly arbitrarily) kill products that you *RELY* on, then launch other products whose success/use is dependent on a user base to rely on it, that is merit to not use. Examples:

        Imagine repainting your house using a given brand’s paint. Then that color gets pulled from the market, with no replacement. Would you ever buy that brand’s paint again?

        Imagine buying cars from a brand year after year, only to discover that the company stopped providing replacement parts suddenly for all older models. Would you buy a new truck from that company?

        Internet products *REQUIRE* trust, and Google has betrayed the trust of many a user. Will be very, very hard to regain it…

      2. Jeremy’s right. I’m outraged that Ford no longer sells parts for their 1927 Model T Ford. I will never buy a truck from them again. Apple also deserves to be pilloried because they don’t sell replacement motherboards for their Apple IIc.

  3. I was thinking the exact same thing. Glad I’m not the only one!

    It will be interesting to see how much fall out there is since ditching Google Reader. A lot of trust has been lost since then I imagine (not to mention the previous apps that they dumped in the past!)

    It will take a lot for me to trust them to keep any new services running. Why invest all your data into something that may not last. Especially, a service that’s taking aim at already established services like Evernote.

    Like you’ve mentioned, Evernote, Dropbox, etc are their respective core businesses. They’ll continue as long as the companies exist.

    Google, it appears, is trying to stick it’s fingers in everything; see if it works. If not, or some time down the line, someone decides it’s not worth the hassle, then ditch it.

    I’ll pass thanks 🙂 And this coming from a Google fanboy…

    1. A lot of GEEK trust MAY have been lost, but geeks are less than 10% of the market. I’m pretty sure Google isn’t that concerned when 90% of the audience didn’t mind or care about Google Reader and they WILL use this new tasks/notes software.

      It’s not always about US.

      1. Its the geek who tries new products and give useful feedback. Also its geek’s blog posts that allow non-geek to make decisions. If geek lost the trust its big loss in marketing and 90% of feedback.

      2. As has already been said by the other commenters, it’s us ‘10%’ that evangelize these products. Win us over, and you win a LOT of people over eventually. It mushrooms from there.

        I can’t even count the number of people I’ve hooked into services like Gmail, Dropbox and Evernote, over the years!

        Not to mention that some are even more influential in the industry, and can have a big affect on how well a service like this is perceived.

        So, we DO matter; More than you think.

      3. They may use it…. at least until the geek who fixes their machine notices they’re using it and tells them about what happened to Reader and recommends Evernote or Simplenote.

    2. In my experience GEEKS are the ones that tell the main flow which service is good to use. We are the ones that are the early adopters and testers and if we don’t like it or do not see potential in it than it’s a lot harder for a service to make it.

      1. Cristian,

        If you assume “geeks” as early adopters of technology, and main stream as mid to late adopters who pile on after a technology gains critical mass, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that a technology will only gain critical mass if the early adopters recommend and stick with it. This also carries the assumption of organic user growth. In case of a monopoly like Windows and for a very long time, IE, users had no choice. That is why the restrictions placed on Microsoft in regards to the browser ballot in the EU is so important. Given a choice, what do you think would bubble up to the top? According to this study on the browser market share in the EU, it definitely seems that what was forced upon us was not the preferred choice.

    3. > Google, it appears, is trying to stick it’s fingers in everything; see if it works.

      Actually, I think that’s a good thing. It creates competition! And competition leads to improving services. Maybe Keep will have some features that haven’t been there before in similar apps, and maybe Evernote will come along and ‘borrow’ that idea. In the end, that’s a win for both Keep _and_ Evernote users, so why not?

      > If not, or some time down the line, someone decides it’s not worth the
      > hassle, then ditch it.

      Sure, canceling an app that you have used yourself is surely disappointing at first. But after all, you’re not paying Google to access for the service (well, other than by looking at ads here and there). And (in case of Reader) since you can export all the feeds you were subscribed to, nobody prevents you from switching to another (possibly better) service.

      I think in many cases the big frustration is caused by a reluctance to change. People don’t like change (as can be seen with the enraged comments after every single UI update a website makes (Facebook, Google+, etc.)). And in case of canceling an app, it _forces_ people to change their habits. But sometimes you have to realize that the change might actually for the better, it might lead you to a product that is completely superior.

      So with regards to Keep: give it a try! If you like it, use it. If not, then not. And if it gets canceled at some point, well, export your data and move on to the next app. I don’t think that’s such a bad thing.

      1. The frustration is caused by incorporating a product into a trusted system only to have it yanked from your workflow capriciously. It comes from having to restructure the way you do things because a company didn’t deem an offering acceptably profitable. This “it’s free, so you should expect x” mentality is crap. First, it’s not free. You pay for it in ways that may not have value to you, but ways that make Google an awful lot of money. If people carried the mindset that their service was subject to cancellation with every Google product, which is what’s happening now, they wouldn’t have a population to mine for data.

        Google’s “spring cleanings” have circled the periphery of their offerings for years, pissing off an insignificant population (by % of users) with every round. They’ve finally axed a product with a huge following and now that perception is carrying over into every one of their offerings.

      2. ” But sometimes you have to realize that the change might actually for the better”

        so let me guess, you like the MS ribbon 😉

        sorry, I know Google thread, but couldn’t resist.

        Wouldn’t it have been nice if Goo-gel either open-sourced it, or opened it for sale to it’s dedicated users? Or made it a pay for service? I haven’t used it myself, but judging from a lot of comments I’ve seen about it and how people made their lively hoods using it, I would think enough would ante up.

        On the flip side, I guess the expression ‘don’t put all of your eggs in one basket’ is fitting, especially if their from a google of geese.

      3. google didn’t create competition with Reader – they decimated the RSS application market by pushing a free app to displace the alternatives. Then, after the alternatives were reduced in market share and relevance, they killed Reader. how was any of that good for competition?

    4. The 10% may help evangelize users to use a product, or not as seen by Google Reader. Listening to the 10% sounds like Google Reader has been a huge success, but then Google wouldn’t kill it.

      Still Google should listen and let Reader live and develop it on 😉

  4. Yeah I was thinking the same thing too, why bother, they’ll end up killing it sooner or later. What surprises me in all this Reader kerfuffle is why havent more G+ users closed their accounts in protest?

    1. Apparently because “throwing a massive tantrum when something doesn’t go your way” isn’t as popular as the loudest and stupidest of the Internet has made it seem over the last few days.

      This is about as nonsensical an article as I’ve ever seen here; “Arbitrary corporate goals?” How in god’s name is _usage of the product_ (which was low and declining) an “arbitrary goal”? The author apparently seems to think that a more relevant metric for determining whether a product is EOL or not is “whether or not Om Malik likes it”. The childishness of the response of Reader users has been staggering (and pathetic).

      1. The low and declining usage argument is debunked by comparing the observed activity on G+ and GReader, as Om Malik correctly pointed in the article. It’s further weakened by the lack of investment in GReader by Google; the investment was actually in *removing* sharing features so people would migrate to G+.

        The next argument in line is that GReader was free, so users can’t complain. It is debunked by the fact that many users state that they would pay for the product to continue (I would). Users *can’t* pay for the product.

        The fact of the matter is that the EOL of GReader was a strategic decision. It’s perfectly OK for Google to do that. It’s also perfectly OK for users like Om Malik to draw the conclusion that any new product by Google is subject to the same strategic risks, which do not exist when the product is core to the company (Evernote, Dropbox).

        There are other risks, sure, chief among them the economic viability of Evernote or Dropbox. However, if Evernote or Dropbox charge for the service and are popular, economic viability is a minor risk.

        The conclusion is valid. For the same product, Evernote is better than Keep, when evaluating the probability of the product being alive in the long term.

      2. You know why it was low and declining?! Because they stopped supporting it years ago, yet people still loved it. It amazes me how high and mighty stupid people like you are, but hey you keep the intelligent people in business. ;P Google Reader has a lot of 3rd party development over it also, which in itself is amazing. However, Google is trying to get a piece of everyone’s actions, they are all about money. Really how much money is enough? All I really have to say is when a company has a moto of, ‘We’re not Evil’….how Evil are they?!

      3. The observed activity data comparing G+ and Greader page referrals from Buzzfeed is a broken statistic: best case it was an error by someone who doesn’t understand statistics, worst case it’s a lie.

        The reason being that it was based on page referrals from the two products, but that is only a valid statistic if all stories had been posted equally on both platforms. They have not.

        Buzzfeed’s RSS feed is very rich, containing every story they post. Only the occasional story gets cross-posted to their G+ page. Doing a quick survey of the two, there are more stories in the Buzzfeed RSS stream just for today, than there are in their G+ stream for the whole of the last month. When the posting rate is so much lower, it’s hardly surprising the page referral rate is so much lower.

        As I said, the statistic is nonsense and the result of either incompetence or outright lying.

        It also ignore the nature of the two products. RSS is primarily a publishing mechanism to attract readers to click-through to your story, and the primary reason people use tools like Reader is to consume such content.

        Google+ can do this, but it’s not it’s primary purpose and not the main reason people use it. The same applies to Facebook. Comparing an RSS feed reader with a social network is broken logic.

      1. Insulting? Every product will eventually stop to exist. People have to learn to move on. Despite David’s faulty grammar I say he makes a very valid point.

        See if someone in the year 2040 still uses ANY software we use today. Technologies come and go, and when they go we simply need to find and start using a replacement.

    1. The vast majority of alternatives currently use the Reader API, servers, and crawlers to fetch and serve data into their interfaces. When Google pulls the plug on that back-end, Feedly et al will have to fend for themselves. And without the resources of a multibillion dollar search giant, I think people such as yourself will be surprised to find that a few startup’s built-in-three-months replacement infrastructure is not nearly up to snuff.

      1. I use Thunderbird to manage all my RSS channels.
        Emails, RSS and calendar in one place.
        Do you need anything more?
        ..also try ‘Liferea’ and ‘Akregator’ on Linux and ‘BeyondPod’ on Android.
        Your ability to adapt to a new situation is a measure of your success in the modern world. etc…

      2. Yes, lots of us need “anything more”. Most of us don’t live on a single device any more, so apps that only store local copies of everything aren’t so useful.

    2. Then you’re obviously not one of the many people who uses Reader to sync their feed reading activities between various apps and devices, for which (as yet) there is no real alternative.

  5. damn all this hate when all google’s done is *slightly* expanded the capabilities of drive. its not googles fault evernote targeted a pointlessly small corner of the market….

    who cares? this is age old technology either way.

  6. is this linkbait please some one explain to me what you lost. you can export your feeds and import it into a hundred different products. so what was exactly lost ?

    1. I think you totally under appreciate the syncing aspect of Google Reader. And what I lost – expectation of consistency of a product from a company that wants us to switch from one product we use to their offering.

      1. If I only started using apps that I thought would be around for more than nine years, I wouldn’t be using any web based apps. I might feel different when I’m older and my brain has lost some more of its plasticity so I’m less excited about learning new interfaces.

      2. Actually, dumbledore, you still can use Mapquest and AOL mail. Which is the point. If AOL shut down email to focus on their media properties there would be a lot of bitter users.

    2. I think this is an inconvenience. But reading news through RSS was dying anyway, with Zite, Currents and Flipboard. I am myself a heavy user of Google Reader but I know that I can (with a little inconvenience) still continue to use this in many many different RSS aggregating services. like Feedly in chrome, or Press.

    3. No, you can’t.

      With Google Reader you can add a feed now and go back years, even if that information was not available anymore. With Google Reader you can autotranslate blog feeds. For example I was reading a russian blog, just when I shared it a friend asked me: “do you speak russian?”.

      1. Yes, exactly. GR is, was (sigh…) wonderful.
        What AA said is true too. I enjoy that feature of Google Reader.

        For all the comments that remark that “RSS Feeds are dead”: Wrong. If RSS feeds were dead, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wouldn’t have recently posted this
        Spotlight http://www.sec.gov/spotlight/xbrl/filings-and-feeds.shtml

        on the U.S. SEC Next-Generation EDGAR System (for “Better Data, Stronger Markets”)
        http://www.sec.gov/edgar/searchedgar/webusers.htm

    4. It is not about using an alternative product. Google killed reader and it probably has more active users than G+. But they didn’t even give a proper explanation. Now if they suddenly kill GMail ( They wont do it because they gather more information about you from your mails..) and then youtube etc… They can do it and they will in future because they just don’t care about you…

    5. You’re ignoring three features that other products cannot match.

      1. As Om noted, sync. This won’t be easy to duplicate.

      2. Search; Google’s search is integrated in Google Reader. By placing a bunch of feeds in a folder, you can create your own mini version of the web by searching that folder.

      3. Cache/Stars: Google Reader keeps every item in every feed. Also, you can star items. We built a tool for ourselves on top of the API to export starred items and then unstar them. No other product will have this functionality.

    6. OK I’ll explain.

      I subscribe to the pehub.com feed.

      After 7 days, articles on that site go behind the paywall. They are high value.

      In Google Reader, I have an archive that has full copies of those articles with full text search. Pehub is just one example. I have hundreds of subscriptions full of similar content.

      Google Takeout exports the metadata but not the data itself.

      1. I wish I had the luxury of picking and choosing when it comes to new Google products. If there’s any chance it may be interpreted as a “social signal”, I’ve at least got to get my feet wet with it…

  7. Maybe it doesn’t integrate well with where they want to go with g+? Can anyone clarify what the strategy is with talk? Why aren’t video chats archived? I’d imagine there being a lot of value in being able to replay, tag motion &/or objects in a feed to be worth it, no?

  8. @dumbledore … confidence in Google and their products was the main thing lost.

    One big gain for me was being pushed into looking at alternatives. Turns out they did me a favor as Newsblur (and Feedly, and The Old Reader, and etc) were better than Reader in many ways.

    Makes me wonder what I’ve been missing in email clients. I’ll have to check that out. Thanks to Google for making me more aware of their competitors.

    1. I disagree with Om, but he’s making a valid point and is hardly throwing a tantrum over this. If you feel betrayed by someone its gonna be tough to trust them again.

      Just because you disagree with Om doesn’t mean you can’t understand.

  9. Google’s strategy is very simple, and it is much like Facebook and Apple.

    IF someone launches an app on your platform and everyone uses it – make your own version of that app and take their traffic.

    IF someone has a very popular website (lets say…oh Yelp or perhaps Wikipedia or Travelocity or even Amazon), release your own competing service and compete directly against their search results.

    How come you haven’t sworn off Google Places, Google+, GMail and Google Travel if you have religious objections to Google competing with existing product categories?

  10. that’s what i thought, i just cant believe their freemium service now

    if i only want to write note, i think a paid evernote would be suitable, althought their web interfaces is ugly, but its still better than just shutdown and throw you away

    and if google want to make it more sns on the keep service, then i am worried about it would follow the GR’s way and i think the exists note service would be shutdown sooner

  11. I’m with you Om, I loved how reader was seamlessly integrated with other google services, and i also have used the service since it was first deployed. Noting how search seems to have degraded in quality, i wonder how removing reader will further worsen search. Reader and + are complements not overlapped services… it’s makes one wonder.. what’s those product mangers in MtV thinking.

  12. This is one of the most substantive statement here.

    > And by the way – how is this app strategic for you guys and Reader is not? A little clarity would certainly be appreciated.

    Coming from people of influence, it makes the matter all the more important. I am sure people of Google are watching and they wouldn’t feel wise to be ignoring such sentiments.

    1. AA
      I just visited your blog. I liked your profile image (I think it is a depiction of Yama, the Bull-headed Buddhist Demon god of death, who, though busy, makes sure to satisfy his marital obligations to his wife, i.e. a good husband).

      While there, I read this post, about your thoughts on Google Reader, and RSS feeds:
      http://web-wanderings.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-state-of-rss.html

      Thank you. It was excellent.
      By the way, Dave Winer never listens to me either. He says he’s friendly… right. NOT! I had the same thing happen to me that you described. I appreciate that you shared.

  13. I have mixed emotions here. I use Evernote and Reader, but I won’t be able to resist trying Keep to see how it works. I like Evernote but the integration with Google Drive is tempting. What to do? Sorry Evernote, but I think the hand writing may be on the wall for you and I don’t think it will take long to know it.

  14. But Google already had this product. It was called Google Notebook, and they screwed over their customers way back then:

    http://www.google.com/googlenotebook/faq.html

    Does anyone else feel that this is just a game of musical Internet data? Notebook, Evernote, Reader, Pinterest, blah blah blah. The web is a mess and people need fashionable ways to organize the data that interests them.

  15. I am with you Om when it comes to spending majority of my aggregation and consumption happening through reader for the last many years. I was shocked by the way google pulled the plug on reader, there was little regard to the number of people who were in love with it. It was not like there was a backlash like what happened for Google Wave or Buzz, or neither was the case that competition was way a head when it comes to a similar product.

    It could have done many things to give it a new lease of life, even make it a little more painful for the user to consume that content (How about a Google Ad for every 25 reader entries?) or mix it up with other services to increase their usage. There were many users who would have sucked up to some of this and still used Google Reader. I cannot believe that all the smarts at google didnt have a monetization strategy for it.

    Reader consumers were mostly geeks, and google is forgetting that these geeks were the early adopters of Google+. They are the ones who become unofficial google product testers and make a lot of noise and write free reviews.

    Google in the past did launch arguably better products after sunseting some product like what has happened here with Keep which was the erstwhile Google Notebook. So may be we would one day see Reader don a new avatar, but it would have felt a lot better if Google had a dialogue before doing it what it did to Reader

  16. Google has killed far too many products for me to even try and take their new initiatives seriously.

    If you live on the edge and don’t care where your data ultimately ends up, then investing into new Google services is right up your alley. But I want continuity and some kind of a commitment.

    The only constant with Google is AdWords and maybe Gmail. Everything else could disappear into the black hole for very arbitrary reasons. I can’t even put Google Analytics into that column because one they they might decide to EOL the service.

  17. I think the difference here is that Google has given users the option to pull everything from Google Reader and transfer it to another product very easily. This isn’t some expensive hardware that will not be supported anymore soon after its release. You didn’t really invest money. While you did invest your hard-earned time, they’ve given you an easy out. You can continue your Reader life in a new form. I simply moved to another RSS reader within minutes with all my information intact.

    Google’s been giving users the option to take their data with them when Google shuts down a product they don’t want to support anymore. Let Google focus on the stuff they want to focus stuff on… like every other company.

    I love Google Reader, but other companies seem to have no problem stepping up and taking over. I have no doubt that these companies will exceed Google Reader in terms of quality.

    If Google Keep manages to make it into one of Google’s Spring Cleaning massacres, then they will no doubt offer a way for you to take your March 2013 grocery list with you to another service that does exactly what Keep does.

    1. Speak for yourself. Lots of media companies spent money building tools on top of Google Reader for their journalists. These are private software tools so you can’t see any of them. And most of these companies pay Google for Google Apps so we felt like were financially supporting Google Reader.

  18. So are you ready to abandon proprietary software yet? Or have you not gotten the message by now. 🙂 Abandon the Google fanboyism, you’ll be better off.

  19. Why would Google anger the very people that make decisions to spend their budget on google services. It’s hard to find a marketing or media person that is not angry at Google’s poor decision. I hope the great race to replace Google Reader produces a fast and efficient replacement which will demonstrate how Google neglects all products – have you tried to use Google Docs lately?

  20. Yes, yes, yes – thank you for expressing what I have been feeling – I too used Reader for seven years, and now I almost choke when I see my Gmail, Google Play, my Calendar, and Google Drive. Will be staying with Evernote.

  21. Om, I sense a bit of hyperbole and double standards, especially for someone based in Silicon Valley and constantly trying out new apps.

    Don’t a majority of start-ups in the valley get acquired and eventually shut down their services? I was part of one and I remember drafting the “Thank you.. but we are closing down” message. Despite knowing that a majority of founders seek this exit route (how many actually reach IPO?) and may very well shut down post acquisition, don’t you guys try out all their apps, atleast write in your columns that “you use it every single day and you love it!”

    Doesn’t Google Keep have a 10x higher chance of not shutting down unlike 1000 other apps that GigaOm/TechCrunch keep hyping about?

    Assuming you’re well aware of all of the above, your rant is definitely not from the Google Reader shutdown but rather from some personal biases and does an injustice to your readers.

  22. Boo hoo. Reader is not a special and unique app. Google doesn’t owe us something because we used it for so long. And, there’s no guarantee that we won’t see Reader live on in G+ or Google News or Google Currents.

    Obviously you always have to be careful entrusting your data to anyone, but Google Reader wasn’t a repository of our data. It was a news feed. That’s it. There are plenty of alternatives. Get over it.

  23. although it won’t come out and say it, google just doesn’t care. it’s in the business of making billions, and maybe reader was bringing in a few million (i have no idea really). are gonna stop using google search or youtube (ha) to spite it? no, you won’t. maybe google could have sold it instead of killing it, but it just wasn’t worth it. alternatives to reader exist and will come along, and they’ll be willing to do a great job in a market that’s now wide open, and maybe you’ll even get a much better product from a company to which these millions are very meaningful.

    a company like google can never keep all their users happy, and also they’re not a charity, so they make decisions that make financial sense. this one just happened to piss off hundreds of bloggers, so we’re reading a lot about it.

  24. I totally get the frustration about Reader, I do. Tons of products, online and off, are discontinued and it sucks. Here’s the thing though, there are options out there. Reader never turned into a product that people actually cared enough about to you know…talk about. The folks who used it kept to themselves about it and it never spread out. Following a slew of publications via RSS never took off. I don’t think taking it out on a new product is justified.

  25. Why do you feel entitled to get software for free?

    No disussion? What if they have proposed to charge for Google Reader? What kind of shitstorm would you create then?

    1. I thought it was part of Google Apps since it works with my Google Apps login. We pay for Google Apps. I don’t think any reasonable person would complain if Google had made Google Reader available only to Google Apps customers.

  26. OM Malik makes a decent point but the products are free to use after all, although you give up your data. Continue supporting the products you love and hopefully enough use it so they stay in business.

  27. Dear all,

    Om’s main point about NOT using Google Keep is that Google will probably kill the Keep service off because of a precedent in Google Reader and due to some arbitrarily set corporate goals/missions. This sounded more like a personal ulterior motive to dissuade others from using Google Reader in addition to lamenting about the loss of Google Reader.

    I urge all of you to read between the lines. Om has been a long term user of Evernote since his 2009 article and more recently in August (http://gigaom.com/2012/08/27/evernote-ceo-phil-libin/) even wrote about why the CEO of Evernote is underrated.

    Sorry for the blabbing, it’s just unfair that Om Malik is using his clout as VC and a keen active participant of the SV community to influence others. Someone has to stand up to this.

    As for other readers, couple of points to close off:

    1) Natural selection: When tech savvy beings like us are using Google Reader and the rest of the population are not, then don’t be despair when the service is shut down due to unpopularity. Bear in mind that we have seen Picasa, Orkut, Sketch-up or numerous other consumer-facing services being shut down or sold off. This is natural selection in action.

    2) Alternatives: which scenario would you prefer, a) Google or others don’t even bother to try, Evernote, Wunderlist & Any.do dominating the note-/list-taking app or service landscape unopposed and start charging for everything. Or b) Google and others trying to compete, offering us choices, we take a bite, if we like it, we stick with it. This is about offering alternatives.

    3) Negligible cost or friction to switch: At least Google allows you to sync your subscriptions to other RSS readers/feeders, or hang on to a copy of your subscription. Have you ever tried to get hold of your Evernote notes (i.e. download) if you are not a paid subscriber? Remember that the services are free in the first place (Keep, Reader). Free stuff are not necessary good and good stuff are not necessary free. You get what you paid for.

    1. Just to answer one of your points: If you install the Evernote software in your PC you can easily export absolutely all of your notes and keep them . I am still not a paying customer of Evernote, and I think this is one of his strengths so far.

  28. > And by the way – how is this app strategic for you guys and Reader is not?

    Google Drive needs a different UI on the mobile for higher usage, and going by the popularity of Evernote and other note tools, this seems to be the right approach. Who would I trust more? Wunderlist or Google?

    User who have invested in Evernote will find the product dumb enough (for now) to reject it. For the millions of google docs&app users who haven’t bothered with Evernote/Reader this is a viable alternative.

  29. I use Microsoft One Note because it syncs with my Skydive that I use for Office 2013. I will probably go to Windows Phone if they keep dropping things like Google Reader that I use daily.

  30. Hear, hear! I applaud you, Om!

    I may be a tad ahead of some people in this, but moving forward, I’ve decided to exploit as much open source software that I can host myself. I have my email and web servers, with private folders to store things I might find handy when away from home. I’ll be setting up my own webmail and business productivity tools, online file storage, RSS aggregator, VPN server, password protected HTTPS proxy, and everything else I can which I’ve been using on the cloud.

  31. This is getting ridicuous. If you won’t use any new app that Google releases simply because they shuttered Reader you are seriously limiting yourself. You would think with all the uproar around Reader getting shut down that it had a larger user base than Facebook. False. It’s just that a very vocal few tech enthusiasts used it. I loved it, I’m sad to see it go, but I’m still going to use Keep.

  32. You’re right. Because a company pulls a free service, you should boycott the rest of their services. Please feel free to stop using Gmail, Drive, Calendar, Android, any of their advertisement products, Chrome, Maps, Translate, Gtalk, Google+ (I see your little +1 button up there), Picasa, YouTube, the Play Store, Play Music, Play Books/Magazines, Checkout, News, Shopping, Offers, any other services I missed, and oh wait one more, Google Search.

    I don’t use Reader so I am not as irate as the rest of you, but you are going to need to get over it. It was a free service. Find another free service to replace it (or better yet, stop complaining and make your own).

    All I heard before Google announced the closing of Reader was how ugly and poorly made it was, but all of a sudden it is infallible and the world will not continue to spin without it. Seems to me that you guys just need something to complain about.

    1. Agreed. It’s time to move on and start highlighting startups that have great alternatives to Reader instead of just constantly posting about how mad we are at Google. If you aren’t going to use Googles new apps simply because of Reader you are limiting yourself.

  33. Surprise! Potshot at Microsoft! What did the Baron of Redmond kill that was not essential to their core business and something that tons of people used? Courier? (vaporware), Zune? (superior product but scorned by the iWant people), Zune Brand? (re-branded and re-launched into the Xbox Entertainment line).

  34. It’s not just about killing Google Reader, what about those paid Android apps that are basically better extension of google products they support via API? Think of Reader HD (Reader), Digical (Calendar), GTasks (gtasks) etc…Google pulls plug on their back-end, and one of these app devs decides to abandon the app, there goes my $$$…

  35. google seems determined to cull any service that is bigger than g+. So, if keep gets popular, they’d have to kill it too. Or, at least cripple it like Picasa, by allowing sharing notes only to g+. How far can they go?android? Gmail? Search?

  36. True that bro….I would have plus one’d this in the past but I’ve now even stopped doing that. Probably more as a lame vindictive protest.

    I’m with ya on supporting the dedicated app vendors. They have much more skin in the game. I think we all knew that Google were leaving GReader in the dust, but what frustrates everyone to tears is not only their inability to recognize and capitalize on it’s potential, but as you say, the way they “butchered” us long term and dedicated users.

  37. So are all those bemoaning the loss of Reader ready to shill out $10/month to pay off the European Press which is coming down hard on Google right now? I thought not.

  38. Interesting quote, “I’m glad to pay them [Evernote] to keep it because they are who they are”.

    How much did you pay for Google Reader? What obligation did Google have to keep it alive?

  39. For my personal protest I moved back from Chrome to Firefox. Boy what a nice suprise! Chrome has regularly started freezing up with heave JS pages. So far FF avoids those hiccups. Most of what differentiate Chrome for me has been made up with just two plugins Tab Mix Plus and Instant Fox – but so much more powerful, such as being able to use any search engine on demand from the address bar.

    I will be ignoring G+ and generally being more skeptical about Google in future.

    The Guardian newspaper in the UK said it best “Killing Google Reader is like killing the bees”

  40. Wow, the author and I are of the same mind on this one; and for the exact same reasons. I’m going to download and play with Keep but I won’t use it.

    I’ve been a paid subscriber on Evernote for quite a while now and it is AWESOME! I would absolutely loose it if Evernote decided to just call it quits. I have something like 5000 notes over there at this point, among about 50 notebooks. If I lost that I would probably blow a gasket.

    The discontinuation of Google Reader seems to me like an incredibly dumb move. I’ve switched over to feedly and I’m not hating it, but Google Reader was just better. I could fly through hundreds/thousands of web articles in a span of minutes. Feedly is good, but I just don’t get the same efficiency with it.

  41. iGoogle (which I use as a home page) is being shut down too, and they effectively killed Blogger by removing FTP and insisting on domain hosting. I don’t trust Google any more.

  42. This is like someone saying they will never have another relationship because their last partner walked out on them. It’s a note app – I use Evernote but having played with Keep I will use it too because it is a really simple app where Evernote has become really complicated.

    1. But would you have a relationship with someone who has the same parent as the person who walked out on you? Oh, wait. Maybe he/she’s really the more desirable one …

  43. Reblogged this on Mat Packer and commented:
    I wonder how long it will take for Google to sunset this one. There’s no way in hell I would trust them going forward with a new product like this.

    Why won’t you let us pay MONEY for your services?

  44. Webapps don’t persist. Get over it. Google doesn’t owe you anything, just because they built a product you liked and then after nearly ten years decided it wasn’t worth it for them to keep it going. There are plenty of alternatives, and Reader’s disappearance will spur the creation of many more.

    And Keep is not Google saying “Stop using Evernote, come to Keep”. It’s most likely a neat way to integrate with Now to include contextual information from your todos.

  45. Geek may be evangelists (and I’m certainly a geek) – but with the huge market adoption of Android devices, and a strong presence on iOS, Google has expanded way beyond geeks in the mobile market.

    So I think we’ll see a continuing focus from Google on mobile-friendly services, and reader just didn’t cut it with the average Joe, particularly when you look at the slickness of Currents, Flipboard, et al.

    There will probably be more casualties along the way, but would I prefer big G to make sure the core products are amazing as a result? Yes, probably. The niche players can then create amazing RSS readers, or whatever else, for the geeks.

  46. I don’t agree with your point of view, that’s my right. And I think it’s a knee jerk reaction to a very deserved clean up.

    I use Reader, and have used it for years, but not Reader itself. The UI was horrendous and hasn’t been updated in years. Feedly already was my reader of choice, syncing to Reader, but I could’ve skipped that part and just created a feedly account, browsed sources and added them to my feedly, not reader account. You haven’t lost anything, as I haven’t.

    If a company doesn’t update themselves and get rid of old products, that’s when they die or become MS.

    Google is not famous for it’s consistency. They always were and will always be an experimental company. That’s why I don’t use their CDN to get files for my development, I always self host. Remind me how much you pay again for consistency and data storage? Oh yeah, right, ZERO.

    I’m not happy with some products, like Drive Sync client and Google+. But Google has done more for our world than all other tech corporations together, and the only thing we need to give them is our data. Mapping the whole world, free Office replacement, hassle free email, the best browser, and the search which we all use.

    I will use Keep, and I will experiment with all their services as much as they are. I’m into their ecosystem and don’t regret it. You also shouldn’t.

  47. Agreed, why would I trust such an important aspect of my life in Keep, when Google cant keep Reader running. Not investing my time in a product for future failure.

  48. Well said! First they tell me they are ending igoogle, and then reader… my primary tools. I’ve made peace with google having a piece of me and my data when I use their tools, but this violates a fundamental trust.

  49. What happens when evernote dies/collapses? We need to insist on open data formats.

    I’m excited about keep, I can see how google can make money off learning from our snippets/content. I could never see a business reason for Reader and as much as I miss it I am getting what I paid for.

  50. Reader was based on outdated technology (RSS). It had to go. Simple as that. Besides, Google currents is much more slicker and better than reader… Its just a matter of them porting it to chrome.

    1. Google Reader is more than its web interface and Google apps for it. Hoards of third party apps exist that use Google Reader APIs/service, with synching. Currents seems limited to Google’s own iOS/Android apps; yawn.

  51. Thank you Om, my thoughts exactly. By removing Reader, Google also removed my trust. I can never know which of their services is going to be axed next. And please, don’t start the “RSS was never mainstream” thing. Reader was awfully popular among influential users. Those that Google should try to keep happy. They probably didn’t like that though. They want to change to something more “social” at all costs.

    But there is more. They should have already understood that their strategy “Get in the game late and try to make all opponents’ products obsolete” cannot pay off nowadays. They started doing this years ago, but guess what, times have changed. They launched the lackluster product called Drive. Well, thanks, but no thanks. I’ll stick to dropbox for the very same reasons that I’m sticking to Evernote and that you write about in this article.

    Sorry Google, you are heading somewhere that I’m not sure I want to be a part of anymore.

    1. > By removing Reader, Google also removed my trust.

      Google is betraying trust of anyone relying on Google Reader by suspending it, both developers and end users.

  52. Hold on, does anyone here actually go into using a webapp thinking this is going to last forever? I mean, i think we need to be more lucid than that! We are in the process of migrating to the cloud, which means your information, your everything is about to be in hands of a few cloud giants. If we are going to get this upset over a company pulling the plug on a useful app, then what the hell are we doign migrating to the cloud?
    i understand the pain of losing Reader, but i think what it reveals is NOT google’s evil intents or disregard for its users, but rather our outdated way of thinking about web and information technology!

    1. szayyani, with that attitude, no one will *want* to migrate to the cloud, at least not Google’s cloud! I fail to see what is “outdated” about our thinking about web and information technology. There is no reason to change something that works, unless there is an obvious reason that the alternative is an improvement, or that there’s some short-term discomfort of transition, but with longer-term gain.

      Productivity tools are vital. Google Reader, and some others that were retired, like Google Notebook, Bookmarks (?) were very useful too. If they are arbitrarily shut down, without even the opportunity to use them as paid services, I’ll be back to keeping everything in MS Excel spreadsheets, or text files that I edit in notepad. Though awkward and inefficient, I have control over that.

  53. I would also like Google to consider using their own search once in a while. It seems they either don’t check or probably don’t care about the outside world. There are already services called Keep or Keeeb that do similar things. Keep.com looks like a Pinterest clone and Keeeb.com seems be a mix of Evernote and Tumblr.

    At least google should consider their creativity when choosing a name for a service, like all the other great startups do out there.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like you Google, but please be that cool company you are trying so hard to let everybody believe you are.

  54. I guess Google wanted to create a simpler / plainer Evernote and managed to create a tool that is a bit too plain … 😉 😛

    What I don’t understand either: Does Google not google their names or do they just not care because they have so/too much money? I mean seriously, who came up with keep?!

    There is another service (Pinterest-clone) called keep.com.

    There is a German bookmarking/clipping service called keeeb.com (which is pretty cool btw, very worth checking out!)

    There is kiip.com–another Silicon Valley startup.

    But it doesn’t end here … Google Babble is another example. Once again there’s already a service called babble.com (by Disney) and there’s also babbel.com …

    I seriously don’t understand what Google is doing here!

  55. How are they acting like Microsoft. People pay money to use Microsoft’s products, which probably explains why there is so much less whining when they kill something off. Their user base isn’t a bunch of entitled children.

  56. Anybody remember Google Notebooks? I had a lot of notebooks going when they killed that. Nowadays I’m using Evernote but I worry because they’re still a for-profit company, and they can still get acquired or change direction. What would be great would be a distributed open source thing along the lines of Diaspora, where lost nodes don’t take down the whole system.

    1. I favor more Diaspora-like products/services. Google Reader’s suspension will claim its victims relative to anyone relying on and trusting in Google’s single node of power and control over it. Benevolence at the top of a hierarchy can create beneficial opportunity for everything in it, with failure having repercussions of suffering more to those under it. It was fun while it lasted.

  57. Really strange on Google’s part as they killed off Google Notebook and encouraged folks to take notes using Google Docs and now they are kind of reintroducing Notebook once again with Keep!
    I moved to Evernote the first time round when they killed Notebook and plan to stay put.
    Thanks but no thanks Google!

  58. Where’s the mop, cause all the crying in this article. Arrive on reality please. Google Reader was in decline, rss are in decline. It’s not the first time Google cancel a service but later replace it with something similar and better adjusted with their goals. Google Keep is a small app to complete the Android experience. No big deal here. Fearing gKeep will desist soon is absurd.

  59. I hold no grudges against Google, but I can’t help but wonder if this’ll go the way of Notebook in the future, somehow. I can’t imagine that it’ll support importing notes in Drive from Notebook, either.

  60. Oh, I’ve just tested Keep’s Web UI – and despite its name, it won’t actually keep anything safe. (I’ve tried creating 5 notes (some without titles, some with titles, and some with colour labels), and was able to supposedly archive 2 of them – buy all of them are lost, if I refresh the page).

  61. But you have to give Google some credit for keeping GReader open, ie allowing the export of our subscriptions. All other Readers start by asking the user to connect & import their GReader account, making the migration effortless.

    That’s the least they could do, granted. Or the revolt would have been even more severe.

    1. William, I know you from visiting Fred’s (online) house.

      Have you done that, i.e. succeeded in making an effortless migration from Google Reader to an alternative feed reader? If so, that is of some comfort to me, as I haven’t tried yet, and am anxious.

  62. Mr.Malik, your analysis for why “keep”is not worthy of use is not logical.
    You and many others feel that Google has yanked a product out of service leaving a bunch of users stranded, that is the case as you see it and therefore you believe you shall not use “Keep”.
    It is an irrational analysis, you may hav not read the TOS for any of the products/services Google has deployed and for that matter even Evernote has deployed. It probably states clearly that “you” the end user agrees to adhere to certain rules and the provider of the service maintains the right to yank the product for any reason.
    I use Google products and I am not naive that they are going to be fair all the time.
    “Evernote” could be bought ut by someone and shut down or may build something else and shut down the product you are paying for and using.
    If you said that the way Google has gone about shutting down a service like “Reader” I could agree with whole heartedly.
    On this matter you are using your bully pulpit to espouse some personal frustration and believe that it will make others not use “Keep”.
    If you said I have used “Keep” it does not deliver the way “Evernote” does and hence you wont be shifting allegiance anytime soon I could accept that.
    This post doesn’t do justice to your values and caliber as a journalist. Also you realize that your frustration around “Reader” is not going change anything, it is like “pissing on a forest fire”.

  63. Yeah, change never happens on the internet, so many sites not supporting my 1.0 browser!

    Things will come and go and change, RSS itself might go away.. some guy could have a beef with a company for years, and kill it’s product on all mobile devices for revenge.

    Get used to the chaos that is the ever changing world.

  64. It reminds me of certain smartphone/tablet manufacturers. They put out a tablet, hype it like crazy, people invest $500 into it, then a year later they drop it completely for a new one, no more support or anything.

    They shouldn’t be surprised if people are reluctant to give new products from that company a try.

  65. I agree completely. I already have so much invested in Google – Mail, Docs, Drive – it will severely impact me if they decide to remove their features.

  66. The slam on Microsoft is bizarre — unlike Google they are an enterprise company that, as a matter of course, has to provide years of support for product lines. They could never get away with the stuff Google pulls on its hapless consumer users (oops, I almost said “customers” but that’s the problem, right? They aren’t customers. Customers pay.)

    1. SpragueD, That’s why this is so awful. Microsoft charges for its products, most of them. You get notice when something is no longer supported, you get upgrades, and choices. And you pay some money for that. Microsoft has non-enterprise customers too, you know. If Microsoft did a Google move with its consumer software that I paid for, I would be seething, hopping mad.

      I’m so disappointed in Google. If they don’t want to charge us for services like Google Reader, don’t even give that as an option, it means that it isn’t worth it to them. And that means that there are other things about our usage of their free services that they value more highly e.g. personal information for advertising? Something else? I have no idea, to be honest. It is so sad, that Google developed so many services that people derived so much benefit from, then retires them with minimal notice, and without even the option to pay to have continued use.

  67. What a wretched, disingenuous move re “Google Keep”. I put countless hours into Google Reader, and was fond of iGoogle too. Om Malik is right.

    This seriously undermines trust in Google. I would have rather been offered the option to pay to continue to use Google Reader than this. It feels like deception, and is a bad sign.

  68. This is ridiculous. Look everyone, it’s the tech elite whining and crying because one of their beloved products is dead. Where were you guys when buzz was shuttered, igoogle, google notebook and google health? I can go on and on.

    No where. (BTW, apple does the same thing (newton, ping, etc…)

    You know why? Because you did not use it. Therefore, you did not care! There was no stories/whining like this from the tech elite. iGoogle had pretty dedicated followers. But the tech elite did not care, because homepages were so 90’s.

    Feel lucky that you can export all this precious data that you poured your soul into. Can you export your social graph from facebook? Guess what. F%$K NO!

    Do I hear you bellyaching over this? Repeat the line above. (F%$K NO!)

    Just because you are the tech elite doesn’t mean that google has to listen to you. Pick your self up and move on. You don’t have to use keep. But guess what, I do not want you crying if Evernote ever closes its door or even,gasp , gets bought out by Microsoft (it might very well happen). Just because you pay for a service does not mean it’ll be around.

    Does google have to cater to the tech elite even though there is nothing in it for them? repeat that same line from above.

    You know why all the others apps use reader backbone, or why no one else has stepped in (yet)? Because there is no interest for regular users. There is no”growing” money in it. Every business needs to have some sort of income, that EXPANDS over time, not stays stagnant. If there was a viable business you would see more and more people doing way before. Give me a break.

    I am like you, I used and still use reader everyday. I tag, I annotate. Was I upset? F&%K YES? Did I cry? Nope. I put my big boy pants on and moved on. This is the digital age after all. Find something else, its easy.

    1. Yes, people are picking themselves up and moving on. The wise ones, like the author, are choosing to learn from the experience and reduce their dependence on software they cannot control. Then they are doing others a favor by communicating the frustration and drawbacks to over reliance on “cloud” software. Google is banking on mass migration to the cloud, but has just clearly demonstrated an inherent problem in that model to a very knowledgeable and vocal sector of the industry.

      I appreciate the excellent data migration tools that Google provides. It’s a pity to have to use them.

  69. Well stated Om. Maybe this bad PR can resurrect Reader. As a former victim of the Google guillotine (google health), I’m reluctant to spend my time uploading my info for any of their services that aren’t bulletproof. I would have thought reader to be one of the bulletproof. Oh well

  70. If you buy a house, it’s yours and no one can take it from you.
    If you rent a house, it’s not yours, you have the right to live there while you’re paying for it, *as long as the house’s owner doesn’t want it back*.
    But what if he does? He will notify you with some antecedence so you can look for somewhere else to go, and that’s it.
    Doesn’t matter if you dedicated a lot of time and money improving it, it wasn’t yours.
    The house’s owner may be your friend and really like you, but if he’s losing money on it or has some urgent need for it, he will take it back.

    It’s sad when a service we love is shut down, but well, it’s a service, not a product. You can’t buy it. You’ve been paying for using it with your data and attention, but it’s owned by Google, and they’re not charity: if they are losing money on it or it doesn’t make strategical sense for them anymore, they you notify you with antecedence, and that’s it.

    And, well, there’s nothing preventing Evernote, Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, Dropbox, etc. from doing the same anytime soon. All you can do is complain.

  71. Om, loved the article.

    Just reminded me of my conversation with Phil Libin on the topic of trust and integrity. Phil has always been about TRUTH and this article is a (happy) consequence of having that lifelong philosophy of integrity, trust and truth.

    Thanks (as always)

    Cheers,
    Raj

  72. I disagree. I don’t think you can predict whether Keep OR Evernote will be around 5years from now, let alone you migrating to another app that you find ‘better’ on your own.

    Google owes you nothing. Evernote owes you nothing the day they decline to take your money. Sparrow anyone?

  73. Just another example of Google becoming Microsoft. I’m reminded of the latter every time I download info from my online banking – when asked for format and I still use MONEY file format.

    Microsoft killed a perfectly usable piece of software when bored one morning.

  74. My company and I invested a lot of time with Google Wave, moving communications from email to that platform and much of our processes, only to have it pulled and leave us scrambling to pull together a distributed work force. Apache never came through (not like they were expected to) with Wave in a Box

    After that, we decided not to trust many of Google’s offerings for exactly the same reason Om mentions. If they can arbitrarily pull it, it’s not worth the time and effort investment.

    How long before Google Glass dies? http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/map_of_the_week/2013/03/google_reader_joins_graveyard_of_dead_google_products.html

  75. I agree, I will not use any app from Google right now. It seems Google is finding ways to entice new people to try their products then fold them into one of their existing apps later. Building users for your existing apps by creating new ones and folding them later may have worked in the past, but honestly, I am not falling for this trick again.

  76. Google used to have a product called Notebook (http://www.google.co.in/googlenotebook/faq.html) with broadly the same purpose as Keep. They shut it down in July 2012 and moved the data to Google Drive. Now they seem to have had a rethink and launched Keep. With the decision of shutting down Reader, I have lost a lot of faith in Google. Combine this with their total and stubborn silence on responding to users – I will also pass. Evernote gets my money.

  77. Puzzled about why people devote so much time to reader and yet settle for total garbage apps. at their jobs that costs them time working. I’ve had to suffer the garbage produced by developers in companies and I would love to see attention paid to that issue, not reader.

  78. I’m a geek and I don’t miss Google Reader. It was a good ROI strategy on Google’s part. So is Notes. The mobile user base is growing exponentially. It would have been foolish for GOOG to let this opportunity pass.

    Business is about making money. The numbers simply don’t lie.

  79. Really Om Malik? A company that you pay nothing to discontinues a service you were given for free and for which there are, literally, thousands of other equally good competing products and you get snippy at them.

    I don’t use RSS for, well, much of anything so I don’t share the collective outrage at Google over this product discontinuation. That said, I also struggle to grasp why losing an RSS feed reader is such a big deal. There are others and Google is providing an export tool to take all your feeds out of their service. They don’t have to do that, it’s a concession to the inconvenience you, and others, feel here.

    My confusion over the whole issue aside I have to ask why hate on Google Keep? From early reports it’s a good tool. Yes, it’s web based and may, some day, disappear – that’s the risk of using ANYTHING ONLINE. That goes for Gmail, Outlook, iCloud, iTunes and even this very website. This article has five social share features for services that could just as easily disappear and you’re not in arms over that.

    You’re being given a free tool, it’s no different than your next-door-neighbour lending you his lawnmower – some day he may take it back, or ask you to pay for using it, or even take it back and decide to not lend it out again. He owns it, you BORROW it, so stop complaining about a free lunch especially when Google is, in providing the export of your data, facilitating your change to another service/system.

    With the risk of online tools, especially free ones, being universal I can’t see why you felt it necessary to write the article except as link bait to ride the traffic wave of a new Google service.

  80. Amen!

    After they announced that they were killing off my homepage… iGoogle… 8 years later…

    No. I’m still struggling to find an acceptable homepage replacement. Google and all Google products can burn for all I care once iGoogle goes down.

  81. first of all ,is there any instruction to tell me how to export my google keep profile and impoert it into other note app?? you know ,we need this some day.

  82. Wow! Such a narrow outlook. The data will be stored on Google Drive and in the article I don’t see anything which talks about them stopping it.
    And talking about past record, Google has offered Open Data formats and ability to easily export data from their products and services in standards compliant format. So, if they shut down Keep tomorrow, you aren’t going to lose your data.
    Now maybe instead of spreading FUD, the author would have given us a good reason not to use it, it’d be a different thing.

  83. What really chaps my butt is that exporting out of Reader isn’t useful beyond just the ompl file of followed feeds.

    Everything else, including the list of articles starred, which I’d like to keep, is in JSON format. Which is… useless.

    It’s an open standard, but for the average joe shmoe, or even a power user like me, there’s no easy way to use or read it. I know of no tools to render it into a usable, human readable format.

  84. I agree with regard to Google Reader, and I don’t trust Google anymore. But how can you trust Evernote after what they did to Skitch? Besides, DEVONthink is so much better.

  85. igoogle is disapearing in November and F- them for just dropping it. I’ve been using it since it started, but they jusr decide it’s not worth their effort? I get bombarded with F-ing ads that were obviously tailored to me from what I have in emails on Gmail and I accept that because I very, very rarely clicked on any adwords ads. They are not very good at tailoring them to me, then they are usually spammy. I click then get directed to a site that is worthless, or points me to another I would’ve never gone to anyways.

    Google is loosing the battle IMO. They make billions, but still fail to understand what people like you and me want. Peace of mind that if I use something of google’s, that it isn’t going to send me to a bad place, or just end after i’ve committed to it for years.

    I guess people can say, well it’s free, so you get what you pay for. Well, guess what, they are making all kinds of money off selling my info, so it is NOT FREE. It is just paid for by advertisers. That isn’t free in my book. Especially when my time is wasted repeatedly by viewing these ads that make them money.

  86. Nicely said, Om. Google’s tone deaf timing on releasing this after killing Reader is all the proof I need that they still don’t get people. Algorithms, they get.

  87. One of Google’s strengths is to spot a trend and be ready to leverage their technologies and competencies to adapt and/or make a new product. Google obviously doesn’t see content aggregation via RSS feeds to be a growing trend. Their data likely shows that links in things like Twitter feeds that add a social aspect (including individual status updates) is the trend. They likely see that accelerating that trend can benefit their business.

    Google also appears have a wider strategy related to how their tools integrate with one another (and what “going Google” means to them) and Reader just didn’t fit.

    The strategy might be to replace it with a new tool/service, but they don’t want to reveal the shiny new thing yet (maybe Google IO?). It would be smart to let the negativity from the announcement die down a bit before announcing the new stuff, which can be revealed before Reader is actually officially sunset.

    If you’re surprised that Google Reader was axed, you weren’t paying very close attention. If Google Keep stutters after launch or appears stagnant for years, and there are alternative tools/services that are gaining momentum, why “keep” it around? (hey-o) The Internet Superinformational Superhighway ™ moves pretty fast, and stuff costs money and resources. Google needs to adapt to survive, and that appears to be their philosophy.

  88. I like using products made by companies that deserve the success derived from my use of the product. Google deserves nothing in regards to usage of Keep — this is Evernote’s market and Evernote deserves the success of this market. Do we want to see Google kill Evernote and Clear and all the other great note apps out there and then let Keep become the next Reader?

    No. Thank. You. Bye.

  89. What’s the problem of the author?
    Google just launched a competitor to Evernote.
    If Google Keep is better it will win, if not, Google will close this new service.
    Competition is good.
    It think someone invested in Evernote and this individual is now frustrated.. 😀

    1. Did you read the article you commented on? Because either you didn’t or you failed to comprehend what he said.
      Google killed Reader because they think it will be better for Google in that everything has to be sublimated to Google +. This is a good for Google decision, one of many they have taken recently that has alienated users.
      Alienating users is nog t good for their real customers which are the ad agencies. You aren’t the customer, the ad agencies they sell your personal data to are.

  90. Oh, for the love of your diety of choice can we have a little less bitching about Google Reader. You’re a tech person and you didn’t see the writing on the wall years ago? Really? Then you’re not very good at your job. How many “death of RSS” articles have been published in the last few years? How many has this site published or referenced? SO….you thought Google would keep it going for you because…???? When they started their “Spring Cleaing” you didn’t think, “Hmmm….Would Google get rid of my beloved Reader, a product tied to a dying technology? NNNNNOOOOO….That would be crazy!”

    This is all so sad and pathetic. Now your trying to punish Google for doing something you, as a tech industry insider should have seen coming a mile away. Grow up.

    1. Your sucking up to Google has obviously been perfected to a fine art but you are forgetting that many people sill use Google Reader, far more than use Google + which is the real reason Google is killing it.
      You are also somehow magically and completely unaware that most of those articles were written by shills for Facebook and Twitter. Not all of us make decisions based on some bloggers linkbait articles.
      Show me any other service where I can quickly and easily skim and choose what to read among hundreds of articles multiple times a day.

      Right.

  91. People who say “we” paid $0.00 for using Reader should think about how:

    1.) I, along with many others I’m sure, would pay if that was an option, but it’s not.

    2.) We, as users of their products, pay with our personal data/usage/information. They then use that to sell us ads.

    3.) For start ups & services that charge but go out of business/bought out, no one can fault them because it was a business decision and not a trust issue.

    3a.) It’s a trust issue, in regards to Reader, because this goes against Google’s mission of “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Keeping a history of all the feeds I subscribe to makes the information there accessible and useful. NO OTHER SERVICE DOES THIS.

    Everyone talks about curating content and Google had a product that they could have mined the data from and known, FOR SURE (e.g. based on how often an article was “Starred”), how potentially useful and relevant said information may be.

  92. Om, I love your caution! As soon as Google realizes it cant just shit on users of one ecosystem and then expect them to adopt the next great service roll out … may create a light bulb moment so that they stop and ask themselves hard question about what they offer and what teir objectives are.

    I dont care how big you are, dont think you can dictate EVERYTHING to your customers! Just ask Myspace and Digg how well that worked!

  93. Its pretty obvious that Google is engaged in a test to see if it should buy one of the market vetted rivals if it can’t float the boat it prefers. Google has LOTS of money. Like a certain aircraft manager, it can always buy what it wants. The REAL issue is will the public allow itself to swept into the waiting arms of the National Information Machine for easy crunching of information considered private and personal and maybe … intellectual property? I HOPE SO… Federal takeover of all things private is in full swarm and GOOGLE is just one of the loyal lapdogs of convenience serving the national interest to sustain sole-source value as a Chief Collector. Good luck to all the little sheep… sheep. Lambs. Good luck.

  94. VERY well said Om !! I now worry about Calendar, and other things I’ve dumped my entire life workflow into. Which included Reader!!! What a PR debacle Google has played out with reader. I to WILL NOT be using Keep any time soon (if ever).

  95. Its pretty obvious that Google is engaged in a test to see if it should buy one of the market vetted rivals if it can’t float the boat it prefers. Google has LOTS of money. Like a certain aircraft manager, it can always buy what it wants. The REAL issue is will the public allow itself to swept into the waiting arms of the National Information Machine for easy crunching of information considered private and personal and maybe … intellectual property? I HOPE SO… Federal takeover of all things private is in full swarm and GOOGLE is just one of the loyal lapdogs of convenience serving the national interest to sustain sole-source value as a Chief Collector. Good luck to all the little sheep… sheep. Lambs. Good luck.

  96. Google already has too much of my data and they have stated publicly from the beginning that they are mining that data. Sorry, no. Not giving them any more to study in their labs.

  97. lets not forget that google is going to mine every single note you put in so that they can use it to tailor ads to you and collect profile info.

    this is not stated in some sort of big brother paranoia. it is simply a fact. thats why google gives us all that stuff for free. and i am fine with them cataloging all my web searches and my map searches.

    however i keep my files on dropbox and my notes on evernote.

  98. Kind of frustrated. Created tags in google reader for the past 7 years based on the content that I am reading on a daily basis.

    I can only export the subscriptions. Ther is no way to export the “Tags”.

    Kind of frustrated with this stupid move from Google.

    I think Google want us to use more search rather than rss feeds so that they can increase the ad revenues.

    Not trusting anymore for any new product with Google.

  99. “it didn’t meet some vague corporate goals; users — many of them life long — be damned.”

    I like and used Reader. In fact, I read GigaOM in Reader.

    NO ADS (well, until I click through to follow a story)

    Get it? NO ADVERTISEMENTS.

    What was that about “vague corporate goals?” Seems pretty clear to me. The same Google that lives and dies on ads, the same Google that blocked Ad Blockers on Android, that’s the Google that put an arrow in the heart of Google Reader.

  100. I was burned by Google with Notebook, Lively, and then Reader. I am very apprehensive to invest any of my time learning new Google products at this point, especially one that would be so painful to get out of.

    Trust has historically been one of Google’s strengths. We all trusted Google more than we trusted Microsoft. Now I feel like great products are killed for internal political reasons. Google is starting to feel a lot more like Microsoft.

  101. This same thing happened with Dropbox. Dropbox made file sharing easier and then Google (Google Drive) and Microsoft (Skydrive) followed suit. Dropbox is still on top because they have a better product and they are more agile.

    It’s the same thing here. Evernote has a better product. If Evernote plays their cards right, Google Keep with go the way of Buzz, + and Reader.

    I suspect the people over at Evernote are not worried. Google and Microsoft have proven they are not as agile as the little guys and gals.

  102. The sense of entitlement to Reader does surprise me. You paid literally 0 dollars for it, and yet Google owes you something? How about a thanks for them, paying for your great software for 7 years? It really does come across exactly like a spoiled little child. I don’t know, I loved Reader as well, and I get your reasoning of why not to go with Keep (I’m hoping they won’t kill Voice) but in the end these are free services that they pay for.

  103. Silly, foolish Google for not building Keep as a fee-based service built around the Reader core, integrated with Evernote-type features and interface enhancements.

    And talk about ironically-timed branding … given all the sand they kicked in the face of loyal Reader users last week, the slogan for the new service might as well be: “Google Keep. It’s what we don’t do with our word.”

    If the guys over at Team Elephant are quick-witted enough, now would be a great time to start pre-announcing Everread right now.

  104. Having worked there, I can tell you there is no lifecycle or supportability planning. It’s all light and loose! You just need to ease up man! 🙁

  105. I am no Geek. Just a plain user.

    I trusted Google. They did build a lot of goodwill. The were “standing above the crowd”.

    I do not trust them anymore.

    Page turned, just another of those unreliable companies.

    Too bad for them.

  106. It’s very simple why they would yank reader and introduce keep, almost simultaneously. Reader is the user’s collection of things that have already been produced – information Google already has access to. Keep is new information from the user to be stored on the cloud, giving Google access to more data. Data is how they work, how they sell to advertisers, how they know what to try to sell you, and how they improve their other products. It’s not hard to understand: more data for Google.

  107. Great post as usual Om. I am starting to lose a little bit of faith too in Google. Wave, reader, labs, timeline in search and a few other tools I used to love.

    For Google most of these tools other than google ads and search are a priority and everything else is an option, for specific services providers their specific service is their livelihood and hence a priority.

  108. I am a geek and I think many are missing a big point here. You should not trust your data to the “cloud”, especially a free service. I see a number of people whining about losing this service. Move on people.

  109. The author pointed out that fewer people use Google+ as opposed to Reader; this is very observant. The reason this datum is so important is that Google+ generates consumer created opinions, content, and relationships with Google+ and gets nothing but what you read from Reader. Google uses your personal info to make $ through advertising. I understand they’re a business looking to make money, but I don’t like those who make money based on my personal information.

    Google builds an ecosystem which violates your personally identifiable information in a way in which will bring Google profit. If they simply provided one “go to” service then it probably wouldn’t be such a big deal. But it’s not just Gmail folks. Search, YouTube, Gmail, Maps, Reader (not anymore), Google+, not to mention Android… it gets pretty scary.

    1. exactly Matt. agreed. What the public doesnt care about is that all of your Personally Identifiable Info, preferences, ‘Likes’, etc. are actually worth a LOT of money to various companies out there. I am in the process of de-googling myself. Startpage dot com is a pretty good front end but provides a little bit of privacy along with some other stuff (abine.com etc).

  110. what about the old fashioned worry about privacy and the scrubbing of every mail message, website, youtube video, G++ compilation history (j/k)…etc. I guess privacy is old hat in the Google Big Brother society where you can’t even opt out of this company if you haul your computer to the landfill…they will still come analyze your home with street level and aerial pictures…..

  111. Google is like any company in any industry. They want to maximize market share while minimizing risk (in their case, time wasted internally or being known for having a suite of average solutions). They have the money to do what they want when they want because they have a core product that everyone here uses – search. They have built a dominate business model off of one (two if you consider maps) in search engine. Nothing compares to Google search and more importantly, even if a search comes to be that is equal or greater than the quality of their search, their name itself is a verb – can’t beat that. Like any company, the complaints of a few does not out weigh the robotic actions and network effect of the many, which ultimately drives their profit (ad sales). Simply put, get over it and use their secondary product or don’t. It really doesn’t matter.

  112. Let’s face facts we all use Google at least for search. We’ll never truly boycott it. But what we can do is remove it from our home pages. Put Bing there. Think of how much traffic will apparently go away because they lack adult supervision.

  113. I went to Evernote because Google killed its notebook service – of which I was a big user. Now they expect me to dump Evernote and come back.

    Ha! But hear this Goggle – I am a premium Evernote user – I pay for it. And I won’t even come back to a free note taking service.

    I have curated my RSS feed for years in Reader. And they are well tuned. So now Feedly will get my feed data and if Google has any plans for a better gee-wizz tool they can forget me.

  114. A lot of Google’s products come and go without much discussion.

    However, they’ve done this before. Did anyone else use Google Notebook for their web clippings?

    I know I did and then saw them exported to google docs with none of the original formatting. It was a mess.

  115. I hated evernote and all the other sign in apps which used my credentials to store notes and I know that this might be a safer alternative which will track our life habits even better and use our personal data to make other products better or ad sales executives wealthier 🙂 btw what is healthy alternative to this mass wave of Google’s products ???

  116. You know ,I like Google Groups but yanking Reader reminds me of the distaste many felt when Groups basically absorbed usenet and pulled the nntp plug. The most compelling issue in all this is that of trust. G is loosing the trust of many. Yanking apps like Notebook and Reader really sets many on edge. Call us/them whiners if you want. Tell us to shut up and move on if you like. But G should expect MANY whiners in this case, and I think the technocrat/maven population will be WELL represented among them. Deciding to ignore Keep should be expected by G. Of course it would be harder to decide to not use gMail and gSearch if you’re already drinking that koolaid…. I know I am and I know I am far from alone in thinking about what it would take to kick this Google habit. Google is setting the stage for its own detractors to rise up… we’re going to see a “take back the internet” movement…. the next Search company that has a reasonable offering is going to get allot of attention from the new detractors, just watch.

    nntp+irc+rss

  117. ok so ten years down the line evernote dies. this data is far more personal than reader, and there is no option to export your data currently from evernote to a competitor. that is when we are really get screwed. not when google reader dies and your feeds can be easily transferred to another rss reader. these geeks who are angry cant really be geeks, because they dont understand cloud computing is different. as opposed to client based software, you dont own cloud software, you own your data. and we should be taking more about our data!

  118. Reader had no ads, nothing to link it to any advertising revenue. They were not only giving it away for free, but had several servers and staff dedicated to running it.

    Google’s a corporate company. Personally I think they should have made it a paid service instead, but they have a duty to their shareholders for reasonable monetisation of what they offer.

    And yes, I’m a Google Reader orphan. And yes it’s pissing me off immensely.

  119. It’s not that your data is lost. There are many substitutes for Google Reader which you’re able to export to, thanks to their open use of the code. Which is imho very important and fair. This article is sort of like a little growl back to Google which made a justified business decision you can hopefully understand.

  120. I never ever used Reader. Why are people so dependent on single services? Can’t you simply start using something else? And what if they pull Keep at a certain point in time? Would it be hard to adapt to something else?

    Welcome to the cloud, where dependability, control and ownership are fickle feats.

    Deal with it 🙂

    And of course, why do we always feel entitled to be given anything for free?

  121. With YouTube announced as reaching a billion visitors a month, a few million using Reader probably doesn’t warrant Google even trying to monetize that platform with ads etc.

    I’ve used Google reader for years too, and wish it wasn’t going But it’s not life-support, it’s gone, find something else if you have to. I think I’ll have to, sadly. I will try and use Keep too. If that goes, I will look for an alternative.

    These are free products to and for consumers. Let alone life-critical, if you want services that are critical to your business, most would NOT risk free services with no commitments from the vendor. And then many companies retire products people pay for!

    So… sad to see it go, and wishing it wasn’t going. But Google gave no commitment it would last more than 5 mins as far as I know. Moving to small company’s services isn’t a solution either. Instead of retiring a product, they just go out of business if they’re a one trip pony.

    People here are behaving like Google support of reader is some kind of god-given-human-right 🙁

  122. Well, I rarely use Evernote and haven’t tried the Keep yet. I do store voice notes to my evernote. If Google will employ their powerful speech-to-text engine for this service, and if they can manage to save my voice notes as texts and can index them then it will be a great competitive advantage for Google…

  123. Great post – and 100% agree. I’m an Evernote fan, and happy to pay a subscription on the basis that this will secure their business model (and all my precious content). I’ve been burnt too many times by freeware that I come to depend on and which subsequently gets culled, sold-off or lobotomised (Delicious, Tweedeck, Reader, Magnolia, Posterous – to name a few). I’ll stick with those businesses which have some regard for their customers.

  124. Early adopter behaviour makes (and breaks) companies these days. Surely all Reader users were early adopters? Surely all people looking at Keep are the same early adopters? Google’s logic is very broken, right now.

  125. Reblogged this on The WYSIWYG* Blog and commented:
    Exactly right!
    The number of Google products we’ve become dependent on daily is not a small number, especially if you have a phone using the Android platform. Besides Reader, what other Google apps or API’s have you invested in that may end up on the block in the future? Blogger? Picasa? Maps? Drive? Alerts? Gmail? The fate of Google Reader was certainly a cautionary tale.

  126. Until Google I/O when you find out GoogleReader has been replicated in G+ (their goal is to get you in there, even if just for the reader, you don’t actually have to friend anyone).. and Google Keep will be integrated with Tasks, Calendar and Drive.. also, I assume they’ll converge their chat systems too gtalk/voice/messenger (possibly even gmail).. you’ll have three avenues of Google – Communication, Productivity and Social/NewsReader that will all be able to blur together..

    Also note, they killed Notebook because it was easier to rewrite the program as Keep than try to rehash the old code to fit into their new structure that their TOS change signaled.. I wouldn’t be surprised if GoogleReader got the axe for the same reason (besides the fact that it chews up a lot of resources without generating any kind of revenue)..

    gain some perspective, take a few days to process things and then approach this as a rational adult instead of a petulent, spoiled teenager..

  127. bottom line: Keep is yet another data mining tool whose chief goal is to tie you to Google search ever closer (to search your notes) and to sell you more ads. So far as I know, that is not the Evernote biz model

  128. google is an advertising agency and you are the commodity it is selling. why would ANYONE trust an advertising agency with their data? especially when it is you that they are selling? i guess it comes down to if you think your data is important.

  129. This is a good post. Hadn’t heard of keep till I happened on this post, but it is pretty good point. I never got into Google Reader, but I tried it and it’s true that google keeps making shit and then discontinuing.

  130. Don’t be evil.

    We should know by now there is no Free Lunch… If we are getting something for “Free”, chances are, we are the product, not the customer.

    Instead of just complaining, I’m going to upgrade my Evernote Account to Premium and ditch my android smartphone and never look back as I did a few years ago with all Microsoft Software & related hardware (except for excel and word)…

    Do I regret it? No, I don’t. Would I do it again? Yes, a million times if someone is triying to take me for a ride, just don’t expect I pay the tickets. I’ll take business somewhere else.

    Touch their wallets and they’ll turn and listen; but just shout your dissent and they’ll seem as deaf as a post.

  131. Originally,Google sort of blew it with me by killing Notebook so I switched to the AWESOME Evernote which has my undying allegiance. But Google TOTALLY blew it with me because of the same reasons stated in this article. Google Reader was my most used and most relied upon Internet service. I’ve been a Google fan and proponent for many years but I will never trust Google again.

  132. I use Google Reader every day. More than once. I access my Reader feeds through apps like Newsify and Flipboard. I cannot f***ing believe Google Reader is being killed. I have spent countless hours organising my feeds in the way I like them. I use it in place of receiving email newsletters whenever possible – I hate email spam and do the best I can to avoid it. Reader really helps.

    I really hope Google will reconsider their decision to kill Reader….

    …However, if they don’t, the RSS reader space will be ripe for innovation again with new players entering the space vacated by Google. Something tells me that in two years time Google will be buying one of those innovators (or desperately playing catchup with them).

  133. Google could have simply sold Reader to someone and let them build on it. What a waste to pull the plug on something like this and invest dollars in a new product like Keep.

    The way I look at it, there’s a far bigger picture to the Keep and Reader brouhaha. Google is feeling threatened on infrastructure, therefore cloud services. It’s feeling threatened on OS therefore Chrome OS. It found Evernote getting too big a player to keep searchable personal information of users, therefore Google Keep.

    It’s not that Google does not have your personal searchable information. It’s had it on Gmail and Google apps for ages. But Evernote information is stuff that you curate, and therefore, stuff that you care about. That’s pretty valuable for a search company to use Google Now + Google Keep + Google Cirles/Google+ to tag your every movement, your every wish and your every dream.

    It all seems to be falling into one big pattern if you take a helicopter view. And we just got to play along and believe that they will follow their motto ‘dont be evil’ ?

  134. Reader was free. It had a good run and yeah it’s crappy that it has been canned and I’m pretty sad – but it was FREE (Ok, so they get my data – but it was a pretty good trade in my books). Come on, guys. There are so many alternatives out there. I personally like the simplicity and clean lines of Keep and how it integrates into my android phone and I’ll use it until they pull the plug. I just don’t like Evernote’s design – I know heaps of people enjoy it, but it’s not to my taste.

  135. Speak for yourself, Om. Most people DON’T CARE. Facebook and Twitter change things all the time, and every time the tech media cries “Never Again!” and “Betrayal!”, yet the services grow and grow and make millions. Why can’t Google? 3-5 years ago pundits such as yourself decried Apple’s increasing lock-in and restrictive choices in hardware and software. They were making profits hand over foot, just as Google is now. Why on earth would they change?

  136. I hear you, Om — my own experience with Google apps has been disappointingly similar.

    I learn to love a product, and then it’s gone.

    Google, I’m feeling about your products the same way I used to feel about that boyfriend who kept coming back — if this kind of thing keeps up, at some point I’m gonna show you the door with more firmness and determination than you might want to know about.

  137. I would like to add they did the same with Google Healthcare. That was a total disappointment for me and made me loose some confidence and loyalty with Google.

  138. The difference: You are upset that someone who was giving you something for free, that many people used rather than pay for the service. If you had supported companies looking to receive payment for what they offered, those companies might have been around now.

    This is the problem with the advertising/data mining approach to internet monetization.

  139. Just sold me on giving Evernote a try.
    I don’t even use google for search. Why not keep the personal data out there about me fragmented as much as possible… bing is fine on my iPhone and duck duck go makes my heart happy.

  140. This might be the beginning of Google’s end.
    I have everything on google and last days i 100% sure it is mistake and i must do something to protect my data..
    I know people who started to move their mailboxes from google already.
    They with their own hands have just created a good time for others to start compete with them.

  141. I am curious why nobody mentions OneNote. It was, afaik, the first in the market, and it’s a solid product. Everything else seems to offer less without making it more.

  142. funny to read this text on a page where 9 tracking services in javascripts are running!
    and.. of course sharing buttons at the end of the page just in case you are to stupid to copy and paste a simple link from here to somewhere else.
    trap!

  143. But Google Drive is a CORE product for Google.

    I see a trend in Google to integrate everything under three CORE products: Google+, Google Drive and Google Search.

  144. Gmail is still around. Calendar too. Android looks to be around for a while. But, “because of Reader” we just assume anything Google puts out won’t stay?

    Microsoft killed Bob, and Clippy, and the Start button. Apple killed its Laserwriter, and OpenDocs…

    Things change. Companies innovate, try things, make tough decisions and move on. They make mistakes, and they also get it right sometimes.

    Get over it.

  145. Anyone remember Microsoft SyncToy? I loved it…until it wasn’t developed to work with Windows 7. Then they had Live Mesh Beta, and…well, it was kinda confusing but it ultimately kinda merged with SkyDrive….http://nontechietalk.blogspot.ca/2012/02/most-things-change-more-they-stay-same.html

    GM killed Olds. Then they killed Pontiac. Then they killed Saturn. Gee, let’s never buy a Buick, a Chevrolet or a Cadillac.

    McDonald’s made pizza. They don’t now. You just can’t trust that McDonald’s company.

    Newsflash – Google is not the only company that makes product mix decisions – these decisions are a part of being a business.

  146. Sort of a comical article. Sure, it’s a drag that Google Reader is gone… I used it all the time myself, but you just export your feeds and import them into one of the other zillion readers out there? What’s so tough about that? You have a ton of choices, so there’s really no need to whine about Google did with Reader. You’re right though, to not want to use Google Keep because they could close it at any time… in which case all your data WOULD be stuck in some proprietary format… not so with Google Reader. Lighten up man!

  147. I use evernote since a couple of months ago and it its very useful because I can take notes everywhere, easily and on any of my devices. Also, as the article says it’s good that it is just one thing. However I think at least I will try Keep to know how it works…but Evernote, don’t worry you are still my choice.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.