Google faces a wave of public dismay and protest Thursday over its decision to scrap the Google Reader service.
The service enables users to subscribe to updates from any blog, website or news service they are interested in, via a common format called Real Simple Syndication, or RSS.
Google Reader, like other RSS readers, allows users to see when any of the websites they are subscribed to is updated, without having to visit them all.
The simple-to-use syndication service is considered vital by many of the independent bloggers that use it — helping drive readers to their site without the expense of advertising and alerting loyalists when they update.
The result was an immediate outpouring of protest on social media, with some accusing the company of “committing appicide” by “murdering” Google Reader.
The founder of MetaFilter.com — one of the original and still most widely used Web discussion forums — said he would quit his job to work for any company aiming to take over and improve the reader.
“I think RSS is so important that I’d take a job (leaving MeFi) at any startup aiming to make an improved Google Reader (w/social features),” wrote Matt Haughey in a tweet.
“I’m serious,” he added, “and feel free to email me. MetaFilter can continue with the employees running things.”
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Shaun Waterman is an award-winning reporter for The Washington Times, covering foreign affairs, defense and cybersecurity. He was a senior editor and correspondent for United Press International for nearly a decade, and has covered the Department of Homeland Security since 2003. His reporting on the Sept. 11 Commission and the tortuous process by which some of its recommendations finally became ...
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