TheOldReader.com Pivots in Response to Google

From The Old Reader blog:

“Paid accounts will have some additional features, but the basic free accounts will still be 100% usable. We are not in this game to make money, but we want to give something special back to the people who are going to be supporting us…

“We reworked the plans according to the news today. Creating an API for mobile clients is the number one priority in our roadmap. We would love to collaborate with any developers who were making Google Reader clients. Please, spread the word about this if you can.”

This is the right move, in my opinion, however I do have two bits of unsolicited advice:

  1. Please clone the Google Reader API, even if you are going to create your own. By doing this you’d immediately make it possible for app developers to migrate their users from Reader to your service.
  2. Re-position your API as a more general service, not just targeted at Mobile. While there are many more mobile apps that depend on the Google Reader API, there are still desktop apps that use it too.

For now their web UI is under quite some strain. It took many seconds to load when I tried it just now (but it did load). They’re adding capacity as I write this, and I bet they’ll get it under control.

(Bonus link – Rob Fishman on BuzzFeed: Google’s Lost Social Network. “How Google accidentally built a truly beloved social network, only to steamroll it with Google+.” Amen, brotha.)

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