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Post 78

Gaining control over the tools: goodbye Google Reader

25-May-2013

Gaining control is one of the most important traits to acquire with one's career capital (Newport, 2012). Having a say in what one does and how one does it entails having the liberty to do so, and relying solely on Google Reader to be up to date with the posted news is too much of a risk to accept. Thus, I truly celebrate its decision to shut it down. That made me realize how much dependent on its service I was. Now I run Tiny Tiny RSS on my server and I feel I'm a lot wealthier than I was before (citing Paul Graham by the way) just because of my increased control over my tool. Since I mainly read about professionally-related topics like software development, machine learning and business management, this is to be taken seriously.

Hosting one's own web services does cost some money, indeed. Nothing is for free, but freedom is priceless. There is no such thing as a "free web service" anyway. Users always pay with their trust and their personal information, which is then sold to advertising companies, like Google! Because Google is an advertising company, right? If Google can't deliver (ergo stuff) personalized ads in your browsing experience, then it must change its strategy. And it is determined to rule the computing world through Chrome. Thus, its products must be able to so, and Reader did not seem to do very good at this. Don't get me wrong, I believe Google provides wonderful service products developed by brilliant professionals, it just happens that I don't want to feel myself constrained by its business objectives. Therefore I decide to provide me my own tool to gain control and autonomy. Will we be seeing more actions like this one in the next months to come? Note in passing that Google Code has just deprecated download service for project hosting.

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[Newport, 2012] Newport, C., "So Good They Can't Ignore You", New York: Business Plus, 2012, ISBN: 978-1-4555-2804-2



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