Recently, I have seen many people get nostalgic about Google Reader. The argument is that if Google Reader hadn’t died, the internet wouldn’t have been in the dire state it is today. As if the demise of Google Reader caused the rise of proprietary timelines of Twitter and Facebook. Unfortunately, it was the other way around.

Plus, Google Reader was a flawed, terribly designed, niche product only used by a handful of tech-savvy people. I say this even though I was a big fan of the product. It could never have survived in the form it was in.

Sure, web browsing does feel horrible today, as Tim Sweeney of Epic tweeted.

The internet feels increasingly broken. News sites are paywalled or account walled, Reddit is nag walled, Google search spams ads and SEO to the point of uselessness, and now Twitter is account walled.

I agree with all of it. But I don’t think Google Reader could have addressed any of it. RSS, for sure, cannot. It’s just a standard to simplify consumption. The problem lies at the source.