Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Value of Google Reader

I did not have any evident problems with Google Reader this weekend, but I felt it would be a good idea to read Dana Kerr's report for CNET News about those who did. I was a bit surprised at her observation that "the service doesn't have a huge following;" but I suppose I should not have been. As its name implies, Google Reader is valuable for people who are actually interested in reading, rather than casually browsing the snippets that come from Google searches or alerts. Given how many article through my own Google Reader, I do my own share of browsing; but that is to help find those articles that deserve "reading level" attention. I suspect that there are not many people left who are up to that kind of sustained attention, and I might also guess that not very many of them bother with RSS in the first place. Google Reader may turn into an interesting case study of whether or not Google is willing to direct the profits it takes from the many through various channels and direct a modest share of them toward facilities for the few.

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