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Mike Kreuzer

Who are our customers anyway?

March 31, 2023

Another day, another corporate own-foot shooting. This time by Feedly.

It seems to be a trend. First there was the Raspberry Pi Foundation bragging on Mastodon about how they'd hired an ex surveillance cop who used Raspberry Pies to spy on the kind of people who use Mastodon & who buy Raspberry Pies. That went well. Then as I blogged about yesterday, Docker, who owe their existence to open source software & to people relying on them as a dependable hub of container images, decided to try & squeeze open source software makers, throwing the reliability of their Hub into doubt. Now it's Feedly's turn.

Feedly blogged about wanting to pivot to selling the data in the feeds they aggregate to corporations, so they can more easily track protestors and strikers. "How to track the protests posing a risk to your company's assets with Feedly AI." It'd be harder to think of an issue the sort of people still using RSS at this point could unite around hating more. Feedly have frantically backpedalled since, but despite what they're now claiming they were very clear about what was on offer.

Just like with Raspberry Pi & with Docker, to so precisely identify your core customers, only to then drive them away as hard as possible might be telling. Maybe they've all decided they've outgrown their existing customers, & are angling for new more profitable ones? State surveillance with the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Corporate surveillance with Feedly. Either that or it's plain incompetence. Or both.

Either way, up until this morning I had an account on Feedly. Used it every day for years. Not any more.