These days half the Internet is upset because Google Reader is about to quit. I am not. I am really happy about these news, because this is a wonderful occasion for everybody to consider again something that I have been suggesting for a while now.
I couldn’t care less about the end of Google Reader for the same reason why I would have no problem at all if services like Gmail, Del.icio.us, Blogspot etc… closed tomorrow. Because I do the same things with open alternatives that:
- have been around for years
- do not need any central service provider (aka “single point of failure”)
- can run on any home computer or on any hosting account, maybe even free ones
- I could move in any moment to any other hosting provider, without any service interruption, if the original one went out of business or blocked my account for any reason
Alternatives to Google, Facebook and friends already exist. They must only be integrated as I explained here to become really usable by everybody.
What’s happening with Google Reader proves, assuming it was still needed, that maybe it’s time to spend a bit less resources to explain and fund startups that may “become the next Google”. Maybe it’s time to fund somebody, even if it were just some really out-of-fashion Software Faculty of some public University, to minimize our current and future dependence by any behemoth of that kind. See here for practical details.