Google was recently granted a patent on personalized newspapers. Until now, I have been having the market all to my self with FeedJournal, but I welcome the competition. A player like Google can really help to boost the awareness for these kinds of solutions. Yes, I am one person, and Google is somewhat larger than that. But still, I think it is a good sign that FeedJournal-like sites start to pop up. It will increase multitude, and the competition will help to drive the projects forward and prevent stagnation. In the end, users will gain by having better products.
The granting of the patent seems somewhat dubious to me, considering that FeedJournal has been alive and kicking for a long time. The patent could have been a good requirements specification document for FeedJournal.
I am obviously very curious to see where Google is going with this, if they decide to use the patent to build a product. Will they offer both a reader and a publisher version of their product? How will they integrate advertising? They definitely have big potential to integrate many of their existing services into a new solution.
But don’t worry! I’ll continue to put late hours into FeedJournal. Small operations like this one depend heavily on word-of-mouth, since time and resources don’t allow much else in the way of marketing. So please, any mentions of FeedJournal is greatly appreciated. I am grateful and indebted to my small but dedicated group of enthusiastic evangelizers (Joel, Simon, Mike, and many others), who helps me to build a better newspaper.