Do you use an RSS reader? If so, and you’re stuck on the old-school Bloglines, it’s time to get a Google Reader. IAC,which bought Bloglines five years ago, has decided to shutter the service on October 1, according to an announcement on Ask.com. It’s always a pain when products you’re used to meet their end, but the larger implications of Bloglines’ demise speak to the way readers use the Internet. In the words of Mashable, “social sites of all types from Twitter to StumbleUpon to Digg to Facebook have all but replaced it for most users.” Upon the announcement, there’s some number-crunching to be examined, but there’s also some sentimentality for the Way We Used to Internet.
Indeed, in its announcement, Bloglines similarly blames broader trends for its demise, saying, “As Steve Gillmor pointed out in TechCrunch last year, being locked in an RSS reader makes less and less sense to people as Twitter and Facebook dominate real-time information flow. Today RSS is the enabling technology – the infrastructure, the delivery system. RSS is a means to an end, not a consumer experience in and of itself. As a result, RSS aggregator usage has slowed significantly, and Bloglines isn’t the only service to feel the impact. The writing is on the wall.”
Meanwhile, the blogger Lindsay Robertson has the human take, echoed by much of the Content Producers Nation:
I actually feel a tinge of weird sadness over this, though maybe it’s just nostalgia for a time when I felt super on top of everything. Also, the little electric thrill of seeing that your favorite blogs had new posts, back when they were new? (“Oooh, must read this Old Hag post before doing any more work! There’s Stereogum with Brit Brit gossip! And look, a Maud Newton was just posted two seconds ago! I feel so understood!”) (And all the rest…)
RS-est in peace.