Mike Isaac

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AOL to Launch a Reader Product

rss buttonA mere handful of days before Google kills off its Reader product, AOL just revealed that it is working on a Reader of its own.

It’s called — surprise! — AolReader, and it’s currently in private beta. You can sign up to request an invite or enter a promo code at the landing page, here.

Google announced the impending death of its Reader product months ago, and its sizable community of hardcore followers revolted en masse. It’s not a mainstream, massively popular product by any means, which is part of why Google is putting it down, along with Larry Page’s plan to simplify and streamline the projects that Google supports.

But the people who do use Google Reader are power users, understandably upset with Google’s decision to end the service after users spent years collecting and organizing RSS feeds inside the service.

Fortunately for those folks, there’s no dearth of copycats popping up in Google’s wake. Aside from AOL’s announcement today, Digg’s take on the Reader will launch in a matter of weeks, while other startups like Feedly have also tried to fill the gap with similar offerings.

Will AOL provide a compelling Reader with features that competitors can’t offer, or end up being just another also-ran service? I can’t tell you, as I’m not on the invite list quite yet. We’ll let you know if it’s worth it when we get a first look.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work