I used to be a Google fan. I must have tried most of their services as early as possible.
But lately, they are pushing towards a version of the WWW that I don’t like. A WWW where things only happen if you use the “right” browser, where URLs are second class web citizens, where you have to have a Google account, you have to have Google+ enabled, you must be logged in and you have to notify Google of your every move and then Google decides what goes and what not.
Take for example their latest Google+ chrome extension feature.
The idea is not bad, I’m a Google+ user (maybe I won’t be for long), it could be handy.
Come on, Google, seriously? The only way to do this, is making my browser send the URL of every single page I visit to your servers?
A couple of years ago, they would have suggested something like the webaster added an HTML meta tag to my web pages indicating the coresponding Google+ page, so that any plugin could let me “subscribe” to the second. This is how we have been doing automatic feed discovery for years now.
You know, Google, the web already had this feature.
My personal stream was my RSS feed, you want me to replace it with a Google+ profile. My news aggregator was the RSS aggregator of my choice, you want me to use a semi-read-only version called Google+. My browser would auto-discover the stream related to any page I visited and would allow me to subscribe to it, now you want me to use a Google+ chrome plugin which in addition kills my privacy.
Everyting worked quite well, and you could pick our side and help us make it better -that’s what you’d do back in the “don’t be evil” days.
Oh, right, I forgot: You killed RSS auto-discovery in chrome, Google reader is dead, and Feedburner is a living dead. I get it.
Update: there is a heated discussion about the post on HackerNews
Update #2: this post created a significant traffic to my blog, by being on the front page of HN for a day. Read the aftermath (and stats).