A few days behind schedule, but still before deadline, Digg's much-hyped new RSS reader finally opened to the public on Friday night. So now everyone from the tech press and early adopters to regular Joes have used the Google Reader replacement from the Betaworks team, and, strangely, the reviews are mixed.
The Digg team announced the official public opening of Digg reader in a blog post on Friday. "After a week of testing and scaling, adding batches of users and improving our infrastructure, we’re happy to fully open Digg Reader to the public!" the post reads. The launch was expected to come on Wednesday, June 26, so the Digg team was slightly behind. But considering they built the entire thing in under 90 days, racing to complete a workable product before Google Reader's July 1 shutdown deadline, the public was willing to grant them an extension.
Tech reporters got their hands on beta invites earlier this week and lots and lots of early, bug-filled reviews followed. For the most part, the professional arbiters of tech taste agreed Digg's rushed reader was a step in the right direction, but it ultimately falls short of being the savior from Google's demise that many hoped it would be. "It’s impressive that Digg was able to produce a functional Google Reader alternative in such a short amount of time, but the service, as it stands today, is not a replacement for Google’s product," writes TechCrunch's Sarah Lacy. "In order to get feed reader to the point of launch, other features had to be sacrificed," she adds.