It’s been just over five years since Google shut down the Google Reader. I was surprised to see a lot of people are still bitter with them about it, even though *ahem* independent alternatives continue to exist and thrive.

I get it though. I was one of the millions of people who got my news from Google Reader. But it was infuriating to watch them kill a useful tool and then invest billions in magic glasses, killer drones, and self-driving cars.

So while it’s okay to be bitter, I think most of us probably realize we’re all better off with them gone. RSS took a serious hit that day, and use remains down. But in many ways, RSS is in a healthier and more sustainable position.

It’s now clear that the demise of the Google Reader was first really loud warning that you can’t rely on a publicly traded, profit-driven Silicon Valley tech company to deliver content. There is no way that story ends well. They will feed you sponsored crapundermine your democracy, or pull the rug out from under your feet entirely.

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