Saturday, March 16, 2013

Owning books "on paper"

Money used to be a physical things. Then Governments took the gold and told us paper was okay. Music used to be a physical thing, then Apple gave us iTunes and told us it was okay. Books used to be physical things, then the Kindle... you get the picture.

Google is shutting down a number of its products including www.google.com/reader. They continue to be an incredibly innovative company, but however much of a fan I am of Creative Destruction, it still shakes me a little when Google shut down things I use. I liked Google Wave (but it never took off - and they closed it), Google Notebook was really useful (and they closed it), and now Google Reader is doomed. I admit, even with the best of intentions I didn't end up reading most of the stuff I had connected to Reader. The biggest challenge at the moment I find is not finding new stuff to read - it is choosing which stuff to ignore. None of the products Google have closed down have not been replaced by something, in another shape or form, I thought was better (yet).

Maybe I am stretching the discomfort, but Google Reader closing made me think how much trust we put in companies by shifting many of our assets online (Movies, music, books, photos, conversations, memories). The world works better with trust and fear paralyses but it is sobering to realise how things could disappear in a blink. I guess fires did the same in the real world.
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