So far as I can tell, the transmogrificaion of Reader does mark the death of the "Shared Items" sidebar here at the blog. No big deal; I suspect nobody ever looks at it but me. Still, what's the point, or more pointedly, WTF?
[Idle afterthought: maybe the whole thing is a conspiracy of my friends who are fed up to hear with my carpet-bombing of "you might like this" links. Update: No, wait, I see I can still email them stuff. Good.]
Life's too short to read all the howling about Reader, but here's a takeaway snippet from Shih's comment thread:
It seems pretty clear Google is now on the path of Microsoft and Yahoo where the middle managers have taken over and every change is based around some high level movement toward "consistency" across an increasingly conglomerate business.Update:I really didn't intend to return to this topic this soon but I must really try to scotch the canard (uttered this morning by Joshua Gans ) that Google Reader "is a free service so Google can do what they want." Google Reader is not a "free service." "Free service" implies that we are users or customers. We are neither. We are, as someone (Timothy Wu?) said, "inventory"--Google provides this opportunity on the (perfectly rational) premise that they can exploit us to make money off of us. Hey, a deal is a deal and I entered into this bargain with my eyes open. But to treat it a an act of Google charity does not pass the giggle test.