Google Reader as a “Be careful with the cloud” tale.
I have been hit by the recent “readerpocalipse”. I use Google Reader daily heavily, and it is THE main access I use to consume information on Internet. I am taking a look at alternatives, and I (and everyone else that used it heavily) will survive. But I am worried about what impact can this have in the perception and operations of cloud services, specially by Google, but also in general.
During the last years, we have seen a lot of cloud services that the perception has been “this is going to be available forever”. Of course, we knew that it was not necessarily the case, something catastrophic can happen, like the company going out of business. But, in general, if it was from a big, profitable and established company (like Google) and it has a critical mass of followers, the feeling was that maybe it was not going to be upgraded, or could have availability problems, but it will be still there. We awake yesterday in a different scenario.
This is going to make me change my perception of cloud services. From now on, I’ll add an extra care when choosing a service, and that will probably make me use them less that I was doing it before. Specially if I start using it a lot, I’ll try to evaluate more seriously plan B’s and ‘what ifs’. Probably that’s a good thing, as I was probably being a little naïve about all this. I was keeping some minimum backups “just in case”, but I will now probably take everything more seriously and try to store less things in “the cloud”.