Google Reader’s demise has been coming for months, but it’s no easier to say goodbye to the trusty aggregator, now that its last days at our doorstop. It has however prompted Kevin Fox, former Google employee and lead designer of Reader, to say a few words on its existence and legacy.
The farewell is succinct and reflects not only on Reader’s achievements over its seven-and-a-half-year lifespan, but also the fire its impending death has lit under the competition, with a monsoon of alternatives, both new and rejuvenated, already on offer.
Despite feeling a bit down on the whole affair, Fox finishes with an optimistic outlook:
Am I melancholy? Of course. Do I wish that Google wasn’t shutting down Reader? Duh. Yet in the midst of my mourning I’m excited by how many flowers are blooming in Reader’s wake. It’s really unprecedented … this is a cottage industry that is being reborn with vigor right before our eyes. I’m certain that in the coming years we’ll see a new breed of product, borne on the backs of ‘news’ and ‘social’ that both owes its invention to those aggregators that came before, and makes them look primitive in retrospect.
The post itself is entitled “Thank you for Google Reader”, which I think says it all — what more a creator can ask for?