Google turns inwards

With the launch of Google Plus, and the deep integration of Plus with other Google products like the +1 button, and now Google Reader, it’s becoming obvious that Google are changing, and not in a good way.

Google’s mission is to “Organize the world‘s information and make it universally accessible and useful”, but when a user can only share what they’re reading in Reader via other, closed, Google services like Plus, it’s clear that Google’s new strategy is along the lines of “Collect the world’s information, control it’s flow, and track access to it”.

While Google are still on track with the organize part of their mission, I think they’re very far from making it universally accessible when you have to be a Google Plus user to read it.

7 thoughts on “Google turns inwards

  1. Lecksfrawen

    I can share from within GReader to Twitter and Tumblr, dunno if they’re default choices or just pop up since I have linked both accounts with my google account. But still there’s choice.

    On the other hand, the amount of information tracking may seem scary now that it’s attached to a G+ profile, but the tracking isn’t something new, google has been doing it for a while

    1. Ewan Leith

      Sorry you’re right yes, I should’ve mentioned Twitter and Tumblr, and Facebook is there too, but these are systems that are as closed as Google Plus in many ways. Twitter for example have removed RSS feeds from view, though you can still sometimes access them.

      The biggest difficulty is perhaps around making your content available to someone who chooses not to use one of Google’s services. I want to make my content (both my blog and more private information like photos of my family) available to people who don’t use Google’s services, especially since Google Plus users are a pretty small minority right now!

  2. Revivo73

    Do we remember the 1990’s Internet? I do and yeah, that was when everything was universally accessible! and in early 2000’s we were able to get everything (music as mp3, videos, books as pdf…) too. and more pertinently, in 2005 or so I was able to find suitable ‘flirt’ matches. Today, there are billions of people connected to Internet thru smartphones and netbooks but there’s not much freely accessible anymore. So I guess the problem is not the changing attitude of Google only.

  3. Ngure Nyaga

    I disagree with the assertion that “a user can only share what they’re reading in Reader via other, closed, Google services like Plus”.

    The “Send To” functionality is still alive and well in Reader ( more than 10 social services configured by default; the user can add / subtract ). You can still share articles on Facebook / Twitter / {insert name for favorite social service}.  You can still email articles directly from Reader. The new Reader is actually significantly easier to use, and I write as one who has used Reader daily for five years.

    1. Ewan Leith

      Oddly my “Send To” was disable, the opposite of the 10 services configured by default that you see, but fundamentally none of those services are particularly open.

      For example:

      Blogger is part of Google
      Delicious is something else now, I’m not sure what the Send to will do for it
      Digg is a submit for votes service, not a sharing site
      Facebook is facebook with all that goes with it, good and bad
      Friendfeed is owned by facebook and likely to be shutdown?

      The list goes on, and you’re right you can carry on sharing with those services, but you can’t (for example) add a comment to the link as you share it, and you can’t easily build a list of all the items that you’ve shared that I can tell.

      Personally, I find the new Google Reader less user friendly, but each to their own.

      1. Lecksfrawen

        I agree that it would be quite better if there was open (official) API or within Reader settings page anyone could plug another service like

        My main gripe with Google Reader right now is that they refreshed the look, but silly old issues persist, like this one:
        You can’t delete tags because later you won’t be able to use the same name.
        They’re visible and usable in the android app for Reader and desktop clients like FeedDemon, but not within Google Reader.

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