On Tuesday, the Provo city council formally approved the transfer of its iProvo fiber network to Google, making the city the third metro area to gain that sweet, sweet gigabit service. Google is only paying $1 for the network, but in return it will have to provide a “basic 5-megabit” connection to all residents for seven years and provide free gigabit service to 25 public institutions.
As it turns out, though, it’s not such a good deal as it might seem. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Provo Mayor John Curtis also revealed Tuesday that the city now owes a total of an additional $1.7 million to keep those fiber-optic lights on.
The city must also pay “about $500,000 to a civil engineering firm to determine exactly where the fiber optic cables are buried, a requirement by Google," the Tribune reported. "Curtis admitted that the construction company that installed the fiber cables underground did not keep records of where they buried all of them.”
At 4:16pm last Wednesday I got a short and to-the-point email from Nilay Patel at The Verge with only a link that started with the host “googlereader.blogspot.com”. The sudden spike in NewsBlur’s visitors immediately confirmed — Google was shutting down Reader.
I had been preparing for a black swan event like this for the last four years since I began NewsBlur. With the deprecation of their social features a year ago I knew it was only a matter of time before Google stopped supporting Reader entirely. I did not expect it to come this soon.
As the Storify history of the Reader-o-calypse, NewsBlur suffered a number of hurdles with the onslaught of new subscribers.
I was able to handle the 1,500 users who were using the service everyday, but when 50,000 users hit an uncachable and resource intensive backend, unless you’ve done your homework and load tested the living crap out of your entire stack, there’s going to be trouble brewing. Here’s just a few of the immediate challenges I faced over the past four days:
Paypal’s fraud department just called, asked me what’s going on. Asked the rep from Omaha if she’s heard of Reader, and then a big Ohhh.— NewsBlur (@NewsBlur) March 17, 2013
As a one-man-shop it has been humbling to receive the benefit of the doubt from many who have withheld their judgment despite the admittedly slow loadtimes and downtime NewsBlur experienced. Having the support of the amazing NewsBlur community is more than a guy could ask for. The tweets of encouragement, voting NewsBlur up on replacereader.com (If you haven’t yet, please tweet a vote for “#newsblur to #replacereader”), and the many positive comments and blog posts from people who have tried NewsBlur is great.
It has also been a dream come true to receive accolades from the many who are trying NewsBlur for the first time and loving it. Since the announcement, NewsBlur has welcomed 5,000 new premium subscribers and 60,000 new users (from 50,000 users originally).
Over the next three months I’ll be working on:
For those of you who are still trying to decide where to go now that you’re a Reader refugee let me tell you a few of the unique things NewsBlur has to offer:
With NewsBlur’s native iOS app and Android app, you can read your news and share it with your friends anywhere. And with the coming improvements over the next three months, you bet NewsBlur will be the #1 choice for Google Reader survivors.
Join NewsBlur for $24/year and discover what RSS should have been.