Today Google announced that they will be closing down Google Reader on July 1. Google Reader is their RSS aggregation/syncing platform. While this development doesn’t come as a real surprise its timing was a bit sooner than I had hoped. You see, I’ve been working on an alternative to Google Reader over the past few months. I had been working away on this hoping to launch around WWDC this June. Google’s move has bumped these plans up considerably.
So I am delighted to pre-announce Feed Wrangler. I typically shy away from pre-announcing the things I’m working on. There is usually a benefit to having a bit of drama with the reveal. However, this is a somewhat unique situation and it seemed wise to let the world know it is coming. Talking about it publicly also lights a fire under me and motivates me in getting it shipped.
Feed Wrangler isn’t a simple clone of Google Reader. Instead it is an alternative take on aggregating RSS that I think makes it much easier to manage. I’ll be unveiling the details of this philosophy as makes sense. While I feverishly work to speed up my schedule I have created a sign-up page for getting news about the product and its progress. Please sign-up there if you are interested in knowing when it is ready for public consumption.
Feed Wrangler will be a paid, subscription based service. I believe the reason that Google turned its back on Reader and left its users hanging is that they were users not customers. I’m not interested in building a platform designed to attract as many users as possible and then work out how to sustain it later. I want to instead build something that is sustainable from Day 1. I want my customers to feel confident that they can expect this to be around long into the future. I want to build a relationship with them and make something they really, really love.