Google has proven it's the 10,000 pound gorilla in the software industry, and nothing drove this home more, than when it announced the other night it was getting out of the RSS reader business. Sure, Reader fans like me howled with despair.
And after the Google Reader fan base very quickly went through the 5 stages of grief, something happened. We all picked ourselves up and dusted ourselves off and went to work. Users started exploring alternatives, ones we never paid attention to before because we relied on Google's offering. And we began sharing our ideas on social networks.
I've been looking at Feedly and Reeder and so far I like what I've found. It's a different experience, so it takes getting used to, but change is always going to take some getting used to, and having social networks to share information and ask for advice is proving incredibily valuable.
Meanwhile, the vendors heard the hue and cry and they went to work too:
* Feedly put out a blog post immediately on how to transition from Google Reader to Feedly.
* Zite reported they built a way to add your Google Reader feeds to their app in just 6 hours.
* Digg, which still lives, announced it was building a new RSS reader.
And this kind of innovation happened in less than 48 hours since Google made its announcement.
As I wrote on Google + earlier today in a comment, it could actually end up being a good thing and we discover lots of great tools we didn't know were there because we were fixated on Google -- or entirely new tools and new ways of dealing with RSS could emerge because Google is getting out of the way.
Turns out necessity is the mother of invention and that was never truer than on the social web.
Photo Credit: stu_spivack on Flickr. Used under CC 2.0 license.