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Replacing Google Reader Isn’t Easy

As you may know, I decided to go with the upstart The Old Reader as my Google Reader replacement when Google shut it down. It had everything that I had enjoyed from Google Reader, even if it wasn’t backed by a humongous infrastructure in the same way that Google Reader was.

I can see now that the growth in users in this post-Google Reader world is not without it’s pain.

I suspect that most of the available RSS readers that folks have flocked to are experiencing growing pains as well, though maybe not this severe. This is what happens when a large company decides to shut down a largely popular service. The startups that rush in to try and fill the void, don’t have the same infrastructure. My guess is that some won’t be able to cut it, and we will have a few rounds of failure before a new leader emerges in this space, much the way Google Reader did the first time around. I also suspect that if the new leaders end up being tools like Flipboard, which rely more on social recommendations than pure subscriptions to RSS feeds, that bloggers are in for a rude awakening about what is necessary to attract any traffic at all, let alone return traffic.

We will see how the next round of RSS reader wars plays out. Look for lots of attrition in the mean time.

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