Ayende @ Rahien

My name is Oren Eini
Founder of Hibernating Rhinos LTD and RavenDB.
You can reach me by phone or email:


+972 52-548-6969

, @ Q c

Posts: 6,128 | Comments: 45,550

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On the death of Google Reader, blogging & content

time to read 1 min | 147 words

On the 30 June, I had just about 30K subscribers to this blog. With the death of Google Reader, I dropped down to less than 10% of that.

This sucks, but it also means that this is a much smaller audience. Which means that it is easier to interact with. In particular, I would like to know what sort of blog posts do you, as a reader, like.

  • Features, like “see how I can do this cool thing in RavenDB”?
  • Reviews for applications, like “cringe at how horrible the code is”?
  • Challenges, like “can you figure out what is wrong with this code”?
  • Mystery codebase, like “let us read a codebase in a language I don’t know and try to figure it out”?
  • Architecture, like “let us see how we should resolve this problem”?

Or, you know, something else. I would appreciate your feedback.



All of the above


1, 2, 3, 5 are my favorites. Even if I don't comment as much as I should :)

Jan Willem

Features & Architecture. I'm mainly interested in RavenDB to be honest, but all the other stuff is still interesting.

Scott Millett

Reviews for applications, like “cringe at how horrible the code is”?


Architecture, like “let us see how we should resolve this problem”?

Duarte Nunes

Architecture and challenges.

Ray O'Neill

Pretty much what Jan said- features & architecture.

David Donahue

Architecture, Challenges, Reviews.

To be honest, I don't actually use RavenDB. But the insights and experiences you've gained in writing and maintaining are very interesting to me. And the stories and anecdotes of horrible code you've encountered are great. (I even use "the black hole method" in a presentation I give on "Clean Code.")


Architecture, Review, Challenges, Mystery codebase


Architecture, Reviews and Mistery Codebase

Maxime Rouiller

I do like the review of bad code. We learn from our mistakes and those of others.

That also happen to match the "Architecture" point that I enjoy very much.

I'm not a big of the challenges however.


From most to least interesting for me:

  1. Architecture
  2. Mystery codebase
  3. Reviews for applications
Judah Gabriel Himango

Former Google Reader user here, now switched to Feedly (and loving it, and subscribed ayende.com of course!)

Oren, you are a prolific blogger - don't change anything.

Yours is one of the few blogs I actually visit through a web browser everyday because I'm interested to see what the next post is. Your posts are either amusing (e.g. LMDB post), mind bending (e.g. the leveldb reviews), or they make me think (e.g. "Optimized, but way out of line"). I don't get that from other blogs.

No joke, you run one of the better software dev blogs on the web.

Brent Seufert

I've never subscribed using a news reader, but Ayende.com is the first technical site I visit every morning.

I like it all, but would like to see more RavenDB best practices/architecture.

Andre Calil

Yes, I've switched to Feedly too (Chrome addon, now Feedly Cloud) and it's good enough, although not quite perfect. As I've imported my feeds, your blog came along.

I'm ok with the topics, but I would like to suggest a new approach on them, and it's teaching/didactics. You are a very experienced developer, it would be nice with you could teach us some new tricks or thoughts.

BTW: are you no longer a contributor of NHibernate?

Jim Geurts
  1. Architecture
  2. Review application
  3. Features

I don't really get into the challenges and mystery codebase type posts don't ring a bell.

Probably should have just attached a poll to this post :)

Paul Darroch

Architecture, like “let us see how we should resolve this problem”

Jeroen Bok

Architecture and Reviews

Mark Miller
  1. Architecture
  2. Mystery codebase
  3. Reviews

I really get a lot out of your architecture posts. The most interesting has been your recent leveldb and nosql series of posts both of which I have been reading multiple times.

Bryan Johns

All of the above.

I'm also rather dismayed at the demise of Google Reader. I used it quite heavily and while I did migrate the lists I find most important over to theoldreader.com back when they first announced that Google Reader was being discontinued, I never really got in the habit of visiting it. I really didn't visit the Google Reader website much either. I used it mostly with the Google Reader app on my Kindle. I need to figure out if that app can be re-pointed at theoldreader.com.

João Santos

All the above.

Don't change what you've been doing so good for the past years. You run one the few blogs i bother to read on a daily basis.

I used Google Reader too but since it died I moved to Feedly. It does the job well.

Robert Simmons

Features and architecture.

Regarding your subscriber decrease - make sure to use a more valid original measure. By June 30th, a lot of us were subbed in both google reader and whatever replacement we've picked. I'd compare against January 1st of this year (or anytime before the announcement of google reader being shut down really). I'd be curious to how much different that is.

Norbert K.

I'm mostly interested in 4, and 5. There was an article that spoke about why it's a bad idea to roll your own ORM, and how many aspects of an ORM you must take care of, I loved that.


Each reader has different interests - I would like to read again topics on architecture or applications reviews..

Jim T

3 & 5 tend to grab my attention enough to actually read the article.

André Minelli

Architecture, Challenges and Reviews


I don't use RavenDB atm so clearly I read your blog for your personal experience and idea. So, in this order of preference: Architecture, Challenges, Reviews


Reviews for applications, like “cringe at how horrible the code is” Architecture, like “let us see how we should resolve this problem”

Rob Fisher

I was all excited about that Macto program you were going to make about prison maintenance and good architecture for a desktop application.

And then that didn't happen. Been a loyal reader for years despite my hopes and dreams being crushed. ;-)


Architecture and reviews.

Thomas Levesque

"On the 30 June, I had just about 30K subscribers to this blog. With the death of Google Reader, I dropped down to less than 10% of that. "

I don't think you really lost all those readers... More likely, they switched to another feed aggregator that doesn't provide feedback about subscriber.


+1 for Macto! I know that we have the blog engine built on raven to look at, but your initial spec for Macto sounded really interesting - and more complicated than a blog engine. Imagine back when you thought about it would have been NH, but be great to see how to do something like it in Raven.

Also been reading since back in the day when you would often blast out 10 posts a day! No need to change anything

Piotr Stecko

points 5 , 3 , 1 in that order :)


Moar cat pictures.

Chris Wright

I've rather enjoyed your LevelDB discussions.

As for Google Reader and subscriptions dropping, feedburner could tell you how many people are subscribed via Reader, whereas it can only look for the number of accesses from other sources. Most services aren't going to fetch a fresh copy of the feed for every subscriber; they're just going to grab a copy and cache it for all subscribers.

You still probably dropped in subscriber count to a half or a third of your previous value, but there's no indication of what that previous value is. You could look at your blog's hit count, maybe add a tracking pixel to your posts, and get decent metrics that way.



Michael R. Schmidt

Everything you post is wicked cool stuff. I read it all. I however like optimization, always one of my favorite topics. So more of that is always good.



As for Google Reader I had to switch and found myself behind due to finding a reader that worked well on both the mobile and desktop platform and kept my reading in sync. So far Feedly is winning however their prolonged outage on mobile hurt. Now that it is fixed I am better. Hopefully something even better comes along.

Daniel M.

2 and 5 (which in many cases, i guess, boil down to the same findings and lessons). Anyway, whatever you do just don't get discouraged by the drop in subscribers number and keep up the great job you've been doing so far.

Tony Dunsworth

I will gladly read anything you're putting out just because I can. I like 2 through 4 because I either learn something I can do or something I shouldn't.


Architecture. RavenDB features are especially uninteresting (but the code behind them and lessons learned building them definitely can be interesting).


Personally, architecture and reviews.

I like hearing your insights into code bases - good to know why you think something is good, as well as bad.

Roger Helliwell

Oren, I value your advice and expertise on Architecture. Your blog is one of the few that I religiously read daily. I'm sure your readership will return when they discover other rss readers, Feedly.com etc. Keep it up!

Joe Young

Architecture and Reviews

+1 Macto

Plácido Bisneto

I really miss the old NHibernate posts :( Today, I read your blog mostly because you do have interesting subjects. But I've learned A LOT of NHibernate stuff because of you. :)

Did you give up NHibernate?!


Architecture. I really enjoyed the Limit Your Abstractions series you did.



Steve Sheldon

Architecture or Reviews.

I switched to feedly, so no idea how you get stats from that. I really hate the UI compared to google reader, but the Nextgen reader on my phone moved to support it so that's all good.

Łukasz Wiatrak

The more architecture the better. Reviews are also great (as examples of bad architecture with an explanation)

Craig Nicol

Ex-Google Reader, now Feedly reader here.

I definitely enjoy the architecture posts, and I'm hoping there's more to come for the minimal db - there's a lot of interesting questions there - what trade-offs do you have to make? It's a great resource to get people thinking about programming and answering the why as well as the how.


Architecture and Features


I will vote for "keep doing what you been doing." I have learned a lot from you and this blog. Some of it is "that's cool tech", and some is "I didn't know you could do that!" and some of it simply just seeing "how you think."

This blog continuously challenges me to be better, so I want more of the same.


All of the above, but 'Mystery codebase' I'd rather only read when I have plenty of spare time which is not so often.


1) Architecture 2) all the rest!

I always enjoy reading this stuff!

Howard van Rooijen

I'd quite like to hear more about the "business of software" - stories about your experiences creating and running Hibernating Rhinos and the more commercial & logistical side of planning, building, marketing & supporting products (as well as "all of the above").

Stephen Hardie

Features, Reviews, and Architecture

sam jeffress

Features, reviews and architecture


I would say architecture. My favourite series of yours so far was called something like "Architecture from the pit of doom" - I learnt a lot from this (and unlearnt a lot) and simplified my code base immensely.


Reviews, challenges, architecture, but don't stop on only these topics, almost everything you blog about is interesting and useful




1.Architecture (I've learnt a lot from your posts about architecture, thank you) 2.Reviews 3.Macto 4.Features 5.Challenges


I get a lot of value out of the general advice, even if wrapped in a specific codebase reviews that brought up the question.


Another vote for reviews and architecture.

Reviews are particularly good because they are entertaining and spin off somegood side ddiscussions.


2,3,5 with Raven DB features in between.


2,4,5 for me


I like the "don't do this, do that" but when it's all in a single post. Having the question/answer do/don't as separate posts are hard to follow (when you read many blogs)

But definitely keep them coming.



Features, like “see how I can do this cool thing in RavenDB”?




All of the above


I am most interested about your thoughts on architecture. But I also like the other categories.


All of the above +1

Bogdan Marian

Architecture, Review, Features

Szymon Malinowski

I vote for 2. Reviews, 3. Challenges and 5. Architecture!

Andreas Kroll

HI Ayende,

1,3 and 5 are my absolute favorites.

Keep the good blog posts coming. They are very appreciated.


All of the above, but primarily architecture.

Also, former Google Reader, now Feedly user here :)


Challenge and architecture. In general architecture and code quality improvement tricks. Also, I'd love to see macto (was that the name?) come to life


Architecture, like “let us see how we should resolve this problem”?

This always holds very deep insights.


These 2 are my favourite, haven't seen em for a while and would love to see more:

Reviews for applications, like “cringe at how horrible the code is”? Architecture, like “let us see how we should resolve this problem”?


I love it just as it is. There is something interesting that I learn from every single post. I don't know of any other blog that I can say that about!

If I have to choose, then I'd say the Architecture features excite me the most.

Jean-Philippe PANIS

Reviews for applications Mystery codebase Architecture


Hi Ayende

While I really like the Architecture type stuff, do what you want! If I'm not interested in the odd post there are always more on the horizon... lots more ;-)

Ryan Heath

Just keep it going like you always did! :)

// Ryan

Reza Mahmood

All of the above!

I switched to Feedly and use Press on mobile. For what I use it for, it does the same thing as Google Reader did.

Thanks for all the insights over the years!


Architecture, Reviews for applications.


Features + Architecture are the most interesting to me.

But, really, 90% of what you usually post is very interesting nontheless

Andy P.

I appreciate RavendDB features and architecture posts the most, but like the rest of them a lot too!

Phil Lee

Hi Oren,

I reckon you should carry on with whatever takes your fancy. Whilst I love the idea of more architecture posts, and your views on how you'd solve a given problem (plus code samples), often just by reading your posts on seemingly random stuff I get ideas that I never would have thought possible! I admit that a lot of the LevelDB stuff was a bit over my head, but the fact that you'd at least tried to explain it went a long way to helping me see some of the best practices that LevelDB incorporates, and that I would otherwise have not been aware of. I also love some of your posts about things you've built - Rhino Queues, Rhino Service Bus, your blog, Raven etc. Keep up the good work!!!

As an aside - how on earth do you find time to write so many posts? You are in fact human right?


Phillip Haydon

Figured I would throw my 2c in here.

I love the Review stuff you do, but sometimes is frustrating. You review something, explain whats wrong and why, but don't offer any advice on how to do it better.


Architecture and RavenDB

Manuel S. Martone

Features and Architecture are my favorites, and those for which I sponsor you blog to my colleagues and mates.

Joshua Hall

Architecture and Code Reviews.

I find the code reviews to be the most helpful in how to (and how not to) design a system.

Would be nice to combine as much RavenDB features as possible into the Architecture blogs (Showing off features of RavenDB while solving problems)


I think your biggest strength is in trying to simplify code and -architectures and finding flaws in the code made by wrong assumtions.

So I want to read:

  1. How does x works (code review) -> going through the source (like with LevelDB).
  2. Why this code sucks -> give example.
  3. This architecture sucks because...this is how you want to do it instead.
  4. Or generally how do I make decisions trying to solve problem x (i.e. by using RavenDB or a certain architecture, ...).
Dave Hng

Architecture and Features please. :) The posts you make about the technical problems that you encounter are always interesting to read.


I like the "Reviews for applications - cringe at how horrible the code is” THEN followed by "Architecture - let us see how we should resolve this problem”


I enjoy the blog for the interesting and insightful posts you make. If I had to order the topics I would order as the following, but I enjoy them all. 1. Architecture 2. Reviews 3. Challenges 4. Features 5. Mystery codebase.

  1. Reviews for applications, like “cringe at how horrible the code is”
  2. Architecture, like “let us see how we should resolve this problem”

Reviews for applications, like “cringe at how horrible the code is”?


All of the above, please, and thank you.

Vlad Kosarev

No need to change anything but personally I love RavenDB and Architecture posts by you.


Architecture for sure. In paritcular, how to deal with feature separation and pub sub within applications. Basically ways to solve challenges in system without requiring a billion foreign keys.

Jason Pettys

Architecture. Loved your series on Queries, Commands, Tasks, etc.

Ian Patrick Hughes

Ex-Google reader now on Feedbin...

What I hate most about this loss of Reader is the comment I keep reading that basically says, "you have twitter now." I thought as the consumer I get to tell you how and why I use something? I don't like to use twitter in that way.


I'm all for Features & Architecture personally. "This is now available" and "how to" articles are the most engaging for me. New features frequently come with new approaches or ideas and that is beneficial outside of the given context sometimes.


I love it all.

Favorites are architecture, followed by reviews and challenges.

  1. Architecture
  2. Code reviews
  3. Cool stuff like RavenDB
  4. Investigate new code base
Paul Blamire

Architecture, features and reviews most but i really like the others too. Thanks!

Paul Blamire

Also not blogging related but tell Rob that we want to see more full throttles with you on Tekpub

Sean Kearon

Just keep it coming! That said, my favourites are:

Features Reviews Architecture

It'll be interesting to see how many of the other 27K return in the next few months.

Rey Rahadian

Reviews and Architecture

David Cornish

Enjoy your blog as it is :-)

But architecture and reviews from your list - but whatever takes your interest means for a more engaged and interesting blog post!

Peter Zsoldos

Reviews, Mystery Codebases, and Architecture please! And maybe the next episodes/seasons for Macto?


I am a fan no matter what. But Architecture interests me the most

Christian Specht

The categories I'm most interested in are:

  • Architecture
  • Reviews for applications

I don't mind the other three, but I'm learning the most from your architecture and review posts.


Code Reviews and Architecture get my votes.


1,2 & 5 for me


1 & 5. 2 is good for the occasional laugh.


I have been following your blog for some time. I find it particularly useful for my learning on design of code/applications based on your opinions on various things. So my take would be

Reviews for applications Architecture Challenges

David Cuccia

I'd be interested to hear more about RavenDB. And architecture - but more oriented toward modern client development (JavaScript). LMDB reviews are giving me a headache...


In order of interest:

Architecture, Reviews, Features, Challenges

Adi Kolodizner

Just wanted to say that, though I'm not a regular reader of your blog, I do read it occasionally, it appears on a lot of google searches (especially about NHibernate :-) ) and is sourced a lot around the Internetz.

So... Rock On....

RSS subscriber counts don't mean too much either way...

Ian Pollard

Architecture is good. RavenDb only really relevant if you're using it, which I'm not.

Benoît Labaere

Architecture & anything related to "production-readiness"

Mike Scott

Features, reviews and architecture. I'm using Raven so features are very useful to me. Hopefully they might draw new users to Raven too ;-)


I vote for RavenDb and Databases. Also one note. You probably had 10% of real readers. You should also check out SilverReader which I use. It is very good replacement for Google Reader and it is ultra fast.


I believe you kept all your true readers. All others were probably zombies.

I switched to Feedly too :)


Architecture, reviewes, challenges

btw, you blog is complaining about the extra(illegal) characters that are sent when accessing links from my feedly, not sure if it happens to any other rss reader. just to let u know.

Sean Hederman

All of the above.

Don't change a thing. About the only posts i haven't really been reading are the LevelDB ones, and I MAY come back for them when I have more time.

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