At some point in the 90’s with hundreds of channels and pay-per-view options there was suddenly “nothing on TV” and the selection of random redundant choices made most people simply tune out (and only come back later for “reality TV”) – we are at that point with the web content.
Recently Google announced it would shut down Google Reader. Everyone was outraged. How dare they shut down free software for which there was no similar comparable replacement? Allow me to break it down for you:
Everyone = media, bloggers clinging to a rapidly disappearing headline-scanning audience, people with irrational fascination with RSS.
Shut down = nobody uses this @#% anymore.
So when nobody cares about something that nobody uses and nobody can make money off of it, it dies. The end. All this outrage and insanity and supposed millions of orphaned and homeless readers out there… well, it accounted for about 500,000 transfers to feedly (the second most popular option)
The would-be blogging elite is even so bold to question it’s reliance on Google – if they can shut down stuff nobody uses that they can’t make money on, what is next? Could a private company shut down all of it’s unprofitable projects that the unsuspecting innocent public is mooching on? Yes. And even with all the sound and fury, it will signify nothing.
It’s not negative
You may be reading this thinking this is a bad thing. Quite the opposite.
Yes, the disaffected English majors are yet again forced to face the fact that they are fucking useless and should have gotten a real college degree. Sorry, New Media. Your brief, uneventful moment of relevance is again sunsetting. It’s not Google’s fault – it’s that majority of people simply don’t care to scan thousands of headlines or read opinions of people who don’t actually participate in the industry directly.
This is a good thing in a sense that the web has matured to the point where it’s not about “new and exciting” but actual purposeful implementation – web is the new application medium not just a collection of porn, shopping sites and meme libraries. And the race to document and organize each and every one of those is making way for things that are actually relevant – connecting people, organizations and applications.
My generation built this Internet web thing into a mainstream afterthought… I for one am glad to be alive and to see it take it’s next step.
P.S. Some of you have asked why I use @#% to mask profanities when I have no problem using other four letter words right next to it. It’s quite simple: sometimes it’s hard to pick the right word and depending on the level of (percieved) intensity the reader will likely fill in the blank with the much more appropriate choice than I could.