Google Reader: Google's Lost Social NetworkThat week, on the heels of launching its long-awaited social network, Google was to make significant — and feature-breaking — changes to Reader, an RSS news aggregator launched in 2005. Formulated as a “river of news,” a scrollable collection of headlines from across the Web, the site added sharing features that endeared it to a niche group of users.
This article is frustrating. First, it's in need of editing and is far too long and meandering.
Second, while I understand it's about Reader, the anti-Google+ slant in the face of all other positive evidence is annoying and doesn't lend credibility to the piece.
Third, yes Google Reader had a small band of users who liked the sharing features. Guess what? You were in the vast
minority. So this feels like a stamping feet 'it's not fair' story. Hint, life's not fair.
Fourth, if you wanted these features to succeed you should have hired a marketer not more engineers, because Reader is one of the worst marketed products even in my view.
Fifth, Reader shouldn't have had social in my view. Reader has an amazing and simple consumer pitch: TiVo for the web. Subscriptions are Season Passes. If you wanted to take it farther, allow people to save a story for later reading by putting it into a Netflix style queue.
(5/12/09) #googlereader #marketing