Richard MacManus at Read/Write Web tells us that Pluck, one of the many feed readers out there, has decided to shut down due to what appears to be a lack of interest — not just on the part of users, but on the part of the company’s founders as well. Although the release on the website doesn’t say that Pluck.com was having trouble attracting customers, it’s fair to say that the RSS feed-reading sector is pretty crowded, with Bloglines and Newsgator and half a dozen others.
Now there’s Internet Explorer 7 too, with RSS reading built right in. And there’s Google’s Reader, which I must say I have become a pretty big fan of over the last couple of months, ever since the revised version came out. I was a dedicated user of Netvibes before that, and I still like the way that Netvibes can be configured to let you see as many as 20 RSS feeds all at once — see which ones have been read, see the headlines and decide which one to read, and so on.
Google Reader is more of a “river of news” approach, but I still like the way it flows and I like how easy it is to share items, which I use as a way of bookmarking them in case I want to blog about them later. I tried Pluck awhile back, just like I’ve tried pretty much every news reader that comes along in case it has any features I like, but it didn’t stick with me.
It’s obvious that the company behind Pluck has decided there is better business to be had elsewhere on the Web. Pluck also runs BlogBurst, which is a blog syndication company that offers blog posts to newspapers (full disclosure: I have a relationship with BlogBurst). Pluck also has a business called the SiteLife Social Media Suite, which sets up and manages online communities for companies, and it sells its RSS reader technology to others for use as a kind of white-label solution.
As I’ve argued before, RSS isn’t so much a technology as it is a feature — one that is best incorporated into something else, such as a portal or browser. Pluck’s departure from the business makes that all the more obvious.