Image by cambodia4kidsorg via Flickr
TechCrunch put Bloglines in their Deadpool today. I think it’s long been there. I wrote my R.I.P Bloglines piece months ago, when Bloglines represented a whopping 4% of our feed readers, down from 25% 3 years ago.
I declared: There is Only One Feed Reader – Google and I’m afraid I was right. In fact the then second runner-up, Newsgator conceded defeat, quitting the online Reader space entirely. What’s the problem with that?
Sans competition, Google isn’t forced to innovate. Yes, there are new ideas, like pubsubhubbub (can anyone say that name with a straight face?), and Google Reader adaopted the protocol, but only for Shared Items. In the meantime my Google Reader is regularly 3-4 hours day picking up updated feeds. That s***ks, and even more so when they are the only game in town.
Anyway, here are the updated Feed Reader stats:
Google Reader unchanged at 68%, but Bloglines dropped to 2%. But these numbers don’t tell the full story – in fact I somewhat doctored them. The big change that has occured lately and that’s skewing all feed stats is FriendFeed’s participation. If you broadcast your blog posts to FriendFeed, every single “friend” now counts as a blog subscriber, which is certainly not realistic. So in the above chart I removed FriendFeed – below are the numbers without such cosmetic surgery:
Of course this is not just a stats change, it shows a real trend of moving away from reading RSS feeds (so passe) to real-time communication like Twitter and FriendFeed. Like I’ve said before, I don’t fully buy that trend, there are valid reasons to use feeds when quality, analysis matters more than timeliness.
Which means we still need a good working Feed Reader. Google better pull their act together. Or else. (Or else?)