Marco Arment the creator of Instapaper, has an excellent and provocative piece on why Google is closing down all of its RSS appendages (they just closed also the RSS feeds in Google Alerts) and the logic behind this strategy.
He writes: “Officially, Google killed Reader because “over the years usage has declined”.1 I believe that statement, especially if API clients weren’t considered “usage”, but I don’t believe that’s the entire reason.
The most common assumption I’ve seen others cite is that “Google couldn’t figure out how to monetize Reader,” or other variants about direct profitability. I don’t believe this, either. Google Reader’s operational costs likely paled in comparison to many of their other projects that don’t bring in major revenue, and I’ve heard from multiple sources that it effectively had a staff of zero for years. It was just running, quietly serving a vital role for a lot of people.”
“The bigger problem is that they’ve abandoned interoperability. RSS, semantic markup, microformats, and open APIs all enable interoperability, but the big players don’t want that — they want to lock you in, shut out competitors, and make a service so proprietary that even if you could get your data out, it would be either useless (no alternatives to import into) or cripplingly lonely (empty social networks).
Google resisted this trend admirably for a long time and was very geek- and standards-friendly, but not since Facebook got huge enough to effectively redefine the internet and refocus Google’s plans to be all-Google+, all the time.4”
Phi Beta Iota: The longer the public refused to embrace Open Source Everything (OSE), the harder it will be to create an Autonomous Internet — not just one that can connect everyone, but one that can connect content in context — all information in all languages all the time. Google, Yahoo, Microsoft,Oracle, IBM and others are all failures because they suffer from the Epoch A myopic of top-down well-intentioned people being virtual morons for failing to embrace Epoch A bottom up everybody always on.