I have to admit that I was a bit caught off guard by the news. Time was you could actually write blog posts about stats. Eight years ago, I used to collect data like this because back in Web 2.0 well before social media you really had no clue how many people were out there. Then came along aggregators and then social media. Somewhere I have a version of this on MySpace... in German for some reason. And then life was good. Google Reader and Twitter trace the arc of my emotional well being. Until the first leg of that security blanket was kicked out, news so shocking that Ancient Mariner kottke.org posted, white knuckled barely hiding his inner angst:
You may have heard by now that Google is shutting down Google Reader, their RSS reading service. It'll be gone by July 4. Fortunately you can export your subscriptions and use another service...here are some suggestions from Matt Haughey and Gizmodo. Or you can wait for Digg's reader. If you want to forego RSS readers altogether but still want to keep up with kottke.org without having to visit the site regularly, try following kottke.org on Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr.
You can smell the fear. I saw it coming, you know. I once thought aggregators would kill blogging. And then wondered how they would kill RSS. Apparently now they are they 8-track of technology... or at least Google thinks so. I have set up Feedly on my home computer but I liked how I could check into Google Reader from anywhere. Maybe it does. I hate having to figure out new things at my age.
I also liked, more to the point, how I got a number generated for my care of Google Reader. Today it says I have 22,364 readers. I assume that some are bots and that some gave up reading years ago and, if statistics are to be believed, 17 of the Readers died before the Obama administration came in. But where will I find that comfort now? How will you read this once Google goes "click... voot" and the servers get sent to help run a social services office in Peru? Should I care? What does blogging without aggregation generated stats look like?
Time to bring back RSBS.