Last night, after posting the story about Google Reader being shut down
, I received an email from someone in China, telling me that it was an even bigger deal for him, because "even with a VPN it can be very difficult to access outside news sites," but that the Great Firewall doesn't block Google Reader -- so that's his one way of reading outside news. And today, European MEP Marietje Schaake tweeted nearly the same thing about Iran
. Apparently, neither country blocks Google Reader, and thus people in both countries rely on it as a tool to get around censorship. Of course, Google need not keep Reader running just for that reason, but it does highlight just how important Google Reader is to some people. And, yes, there are other RSS readers out there, but as people are quickly discovering, they tend to be much more limited (and, one imagines, more likely to be blocked in those countries).