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The corpse may be barely cold, but Google poured a little salt in Reader's fatal, self-inflicted wound even as the service's founder reminisced on what he might have done differently if it was launched today.
The Official Google Reader Blog went dark on Tuesday, but not before saying a final farewell that makes it pretty clear how unpopular the company's decision really was.
"Thank you for stopping by," the brief blog post reads. "Today, we powered down Google Reader. We understand you may not agree with this decision, but we hope you'll come to love these alternatives as much as you loved Reader."
The blog post links to an AlternativeTo web page chock full of substitutes like Feedly (currently ranked as the most popular), NewsBlur and Reeder. Google will retain Reader subscription data until July 15, 2013, so users are encouraged to use the Google Takeout feature to export that data for posterity before then.
Tuesday was also a day of reflection for Google Reader founder Chris Wetherell, who spoke to Forbes about how the service might have been launched today, eight years after putting its fate in Google's hands.
“I would absolutely not do it inside of Google,” Wetherell said bluntly. “I would hate that to be my idea versus Google Plus. That would be very frustrating.
“If you have this big idea, it might be easier to leave the company," he added. "You might feel this. I’m not sure. But someone might feel like they should just leave the company rather than finding a way to explore it within Google and then have Google say in a couple years ‘It doesn’t matter how many millions of people are using the thing, we’ve got larger concerns.’”
RIP Google Reader, may your spirit live on inside the products that have replaced you!
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter