Google Reader and the trust issue


I wrote last time about Google shutting down Google Reader. It seems that i can’t get over this so easily. I’m still having issues migrating to a new feed reader.

These two weeks i had plenty of time to think about this situation and i come to a few conclusions of my own. I thought about what i have lost. I have lost Google Reader. But in the same time i also lost what has left of my trust in Google. I have trusted them with my data, with my reading habits, with my RSS feeds.  And what they did ? They have abused this trust by shutting down Google Reader because of their relentless war with Facebook. More importantly they have failed their own mission. They state on their company page:

Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful

Well for me and many other people the RSS feeds in Google Reader were one of they way we organize our information. I fail to see how Google helped that by shutting down Google Reader.

How can i ever trust a new (or existing) service from Google when there is always the possibility that if the product won’t meet their expected numbers then they will just shut it down. We should start looking more carefully on what companies we choose as our online service providers. I bet if Google Reader was their main product and their company depended on that product then they wouldn’t have shut it down. So that’s why i think companies that focus on one single product and do it well are the ones that should earn more trust as its in their best interest to provide a good service. Of course the possibility of a shutdown (bankruptcy) still exists but it might be smaller and at least they won’t shut it down on a whim.

Yes, because that’s what happened with Reader and many other products at Google. They start all kind of services just to compete with everyone else. They are like those spoiled kids you known when you were also a kid. They want to have the same toys as you have and if they don’t have something they will force it on their parents to buy it for them. That’s what Google does. If someone else comes with a great product they just can’t stand that. They will go out of their way to try to beat that company. This is now the case with Facebook. But its not the only example. They want to stick their nose into everything : local information, airline tickets, mobile operating systems, maps,  social media, TV and i could count on.

They launch services relentlessly, just last days they launched Google Keep, an application for storing notes. But in the marketing texts they forgot to mention that they already had a similar service a while ago which they shut down. It was called Google Notebook. It didn’t met their expectations and they killed it. But now when they’ve seen that others have some success with note apps (like Evernote) the spoiled kid could not take it anymore. We want too!

I have one advice to you. If you want to keep notes then use Evernote. This is their single product. Their company depends on the success of that service. Don’t trust your data to Google. Because you can wake up one morning to discover that they can’t get enough users on it and got bored of supporting that product what’s more its not even their main business anyway. So they shut it down.

You could say that no one cares about my advice. But let me tell you something about myself. I’m an early adopter, i’m a computer geek most of the times. Most of my family members and many of my friends learned using computers and software from me. I told them what software to use, i told them to open Gmail accounts for e-mail. I told them about every new noteworthy software and service. Now the time has come to stop recommending Google products. Because i can’t wholeheartedly support any Google product. After reading a little around on the internet i can see that i’m not the only one in this situation. Reader was used mostly by nerds like us. And when people like us stop recommending something or start recommending something else then inevitably the general public will follow after a while.

So in my humble opinion by shutting down Reader, Google lost more then it hoped for.

  1. I second your opinion. That is why I have never really jumped on board with Google Checkout. It was a big deal when they launched it, but I decided to hold out for a while and I’m glad I did. It’s not canned yet, but really, who’s using it despite the millions spent prepping servers for it.

  2. @Chas Checkout is not the only product in that situation. They have lots of other products in that state. But yesterday i have discovered something even more bothering and i intend to write a blog post about that too. It’s about Picasa from Google which it seems that is being killed in favor of Google+

  3. I also never jumped on Picasa as I could see it never really matured above the auto adjustment phase. Adobe Lightroom has been steadily adding new features and you you can now even import video and do minimal editing on it. Adobe tends to support the community much better… probably because they charge for their products which are most of the time well worth what they charge.

  4. @Chas My mistake, i should have said Picasaweb which is the web based photo storage service from Google (not Picasa the photo editor software). But i doubt that the latter is in a better situation.

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