Ever since I “discovered” Google Reader (How To Manage Feeds In Google Reader) I’ve been using it non-stop. It’s one of the easiest ways to manage dozens of sites that I read on a regular basis.
My Google Reader contains some 40+ blogs, so it’s my diary or little black book (well my geeky black book).
We’ve all read about the hemorraging going on at Yahoo! with executives and everyday folk leaving left and right – so I was surprised to read that Product Manager for Google Reader is leaving Google!
Chris Wetherell, the Product Manager responsible for the launch of Google Reader, is resigning from the company. Wetherell does not indicate where he is headed, but notes that June 20th (Friday) will be his last day.
Chris has to say this on his blog…
What will happen to Reader?
Fewer bugs will be created as a result of my not coding. Seriously though, Mihai Parparita and Ben Darnell have always been the technical leads for Reader and each is a genius. My only (slight) concern is that this leaves a team smaller that’s already small for the scale that Reader requires. But Reader’s future is likely to be intense and I’m really excited to follow its development knowing what’s ahead. More importantly, the team is happy to await my inevitable bug reports! (Update: “Happy” is a not entirely accurate way to express their feelings about that.)
Now what I didn’t know about RSS Readers, and that we all probably take these tools for granted is that Google Reader is the second most popular RSS Reader. Leading the pack is the Bloglines reader. After Google, comes Rojo.
A year ago, Bloglines attracted twice the share of US Internet visits compared with Google Reader. The gap has closed to 40% in the week to 17th May 2008. Last week, Bloglines ranked 21st among Blogs and Personal Websites and Google Reader ranked 32nd. A year ago, those site ranked 45th ad 118th. Share of US Internet visits to Bloglines have increased 158% in the past year and visits to Google Reader are up 267%.
HitWise Intelligence has an excellent, current, article discussing this.
So while Google is a behemoth of a company, I’m sure that they will find someone equally as competent to handle Google Reader – but there are other options out there, and with Google slowly catching up to Bloglines I’m sure they are not too anxious to give up the race and concede to Bloglines.