In defense of Google

Social media has exploded this afternoon with people upset about Google shutting down Google Reader. Well, I’m about to do something I very rarely do: defend Google.

As you might assume by my support of App.net, I don’t object to proprietary services; I object to proprietary data and lock-in. Even services you pay for can be shut down, though it’s more likely when providing said service isn’t aligned with a company’s business model. By letting people export their feed lists, Google is doing this responsibly. (RSS itself is, obviously, an open format.)

Even if you run something like TT-RSS, the hosting provider (which you pay) could stop operating. Host from a box in your living room? Great, until your ISP caps your upload bandwidth. Autonomy is a lovely idea, but unless you conduct all of your communication via ham radio1, you can pretty much forget about it.

Which reminds me: why are web apps such a good idea in the first place? Just use a native feed reader. (You know, local binary, the whole nine yards.)

  1. For the record, my call sign is KC8TKP. ;)