: "I think RSS is so important that I'd take a job (leaving MeFi) at any startup aiming to make an improved Google Reader (w/ social features). [...] I'm serious, and feel free to email me. MetaFilter can continue with the employees running things."
I think that this maybe merits some serious discussion here, pronto.
So I slept on it, had a scrumptious muffin, did some fancy meditation exercises, and yep, STILL REALLY REALLY ANGRY ABOUT GOOGLE READER.
And I'm not the only one. pb is "extremely upset."
Warren Ellis is losing "the most effective tool [he] has."
Ezra Klein uses it "more than any single web site or app save Gmail."
Felicia Day is having none of it
. Small-scale blogs are in danger
. A Change.org petition has surpassed 50,000 signatures
. Reader's death trended above a new pope
on Twitter. It seems Google has kicked the entire blogosphere in the collective chin.
But a light shineth in the darkness.
Clearly, a competent, no-frills feed reader is vitally important to not only the sort of people who read Metafilter -- bloggers, webmasters, curators, journalists -- but to the founder himself, to the point he'd be willing to leave the project he's built for 13 years. But there's no need to split the gang up, right? So why don't we game it out here.
Questions to consider:
Is this something that MeFi would be capable of hosting?
Should it be in-house, or could we partner with an existing project?
Would it even be possible to persuade Google to open-source Reader's code?
Exactly how much of Reader would we be able to replicate? Interface? The fetch mechanism? APIs?
Would it be available to everyone, or just registered Mefites?
Would it charge a fee? I'd be willing to pay a subscription for a trustworthy Reader clone hosted by a site as longstanding as MeFi.
Most importantly, names... read.metafilter.com? feeds.metafilter.com? rss.metafilter.com?
It's a big endeavor, but it would be fit right into Metafilter's mission to filter the best of the web, while providing a big beacon for all the literate, web-savvy people left out in the cold by Google's caprice. There are plenty of alternatives springing up, but MeFi could provide the imprimatur of reputation and experience to make for the very best solution. It could be the smart, effective alternative to Reader, just like AskMe is to Yahoo Answers or Answers.com.
We have the userbase, the technical knowhow, the desire, the connections. Let's make it happen. For the sake of future FPP sources everywhere, let's help save the small-scale web.