It was less than two months ago that I echoed John Naughton’s warning that "nothing lasts forever". Naughton was talking about the "empires" of Facebook and Apple, but it is certainly true on a small scale for individual services as well. Google just announced that they will shut down their RSS Reader, along with a few other APIs and services. The reader in particular seems to have sparked a bit of an uproar, since it has small but loyal crowd of followers.
Many users feel betrayed, however as Alex Kantrowitz points out in Forbes, none of them actually paid for the Reader services, and thus the feeling of ownership is misplaces. As the old cliché goes: If as a user of a web service you don't pay, you are the product, not the customer. You'd think some have learnt by now, but it will take many more of these stories before that message is clear.
So are the alternatives? Well, but of course there are! Many of them! Each user will have to decide for himself what fits his purpose and use best, but that's a choice which is worth appreciating. Some will maybe continue with a web service style application, while others have learnt that "the cloud" can evaporate right in front of their eyes, with little chance of saving the remains of what once was.