The internet may be weeping at the news that Google Reader may be about to close, but one person of note won’t be shedding a tear. Dave Winer, an instrumental figure in both the invention of RSS feeds and blogs, couldn’t give a hoot.
Posting on his blog, he admitted:
“I won’t miss it. Never used the damn thing. Didn’t trust the idea of a big company like Google’s interests being so aligned with mine that I could trust them to get all my news.
“And besides, I didn’t think the mailbox approach to news was right. Who cares how many unread items there are. I like the river of news approach and I have a very fine set of rivers that keep me well supplied with news and podcasts.”
If anything, Winer believes there’s potential for this to be a great period of growth for RSS.
“It’s possible to use RSS without being dependent on Google Reader. And since GR is going away, that should probably be seen as good news, not bad.
“People will be well-served by a newly revitalized market for RSS products, now that the dominant product, the 800-pound gorilla, is withdrawing.”
Winer’s main fears lie with Google controlling exactly what news we’re presented with, and the commercial interests behind that. Though he praises the interface of Google Now, which he sees as Reader’s natural successor, he’s also weary of it:
“It’s creepy in two ways. One way most people see is that it’s snooping on what you do to figure out what you want to read. The second way: It’s also deciding what you don’t see.
“The content of my (news) river is not determined by any tech company. Do I think it will stay that way? It’s possible that it might not.”