The Old ReaderNate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader posted an intriguing tidbit earlier today about The Old Reader, one of the more solid but less-hyped Google Reader alternatives to benefit from Google Reader’s demise. But in this paticular case, it seems the benefit turned out to be more of a curse: Since the shutdown of Google Reader was announced, The Old Reader’s user base swelled from 10,000 to over 400,000—and it’s just too many users for the admins of this ‘labor of love’ to handle.

In a blog post entitled “Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures,” they say:

“We really want The Old Reader to be a big and successful project, with usable free accounts. But this is not possible to achieve with what we have, so unless someone resourceful takes over the project and brings it to the next level, it is not gonna happen. We had over 2,000 new registrations after the blackout last week. This is amazing and sad at the same time.”

They go on to elaborate about months of sacrificed evenings, weekends and family time, with one of the developers admitting that it “tears us to bits if something isn’t working right,” and that they spent their first wedding anniversary fixing ‘migration issues.’ Eek! I don’t think even the most diehard newshound would ask that of someone running a valuable—but free—service!

When the news first hit, they were planning to relaunch the reader as a private service, with invitations going out to only those who had signed up before the deluge of Google refugees. But the good news is that since the story first came out on blogosphere this morning, they’ve updated the blog to say that they “have received a number of proposals that we are discussing right now,” and that “chances are high that public The Old Reader will live after all.”


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