Thursday, March 14, 2013
Google Reader Closing!
Back in the day, when I first started blogging, I relied on Bloglines to keep all my blog reading in one place.
Then Bloglines closed down and I kind of, sort of freaked out because I didn't know where else to go. A couple of bloggers suggested Google Reader, and at first I was a little intimidated because it was completely different to Bloglines. I did take the plunge and then grew to love it.
Have been using it for a few years now and that's where all my blog feeds reside.
As if I knew this was going to happen, about two months ago, I started moving some of my favorite blogs to my sidebar and use that to visit everyone. Though I still go to Google Reader at least once or twice a week.
I hadn't been there for about a week and a half and when I logged in this morning, I got the message "Google Reader will close down on July 1, 2013".
No real explanation, just that it's closing down. So now, here we are, a few years later and I have to figure out how to get the hundreds of blog links I have, saved. And to where?
I decided to write this post for all of you out there who currently use Google Reader and just found out about the closure, and for those who did not yet know....now you do.
First thing I did was get online and search for alternatives or sites similar to Google Reader, then spent this morning trying out a few places so that I could give you all an alternative. I need one, but I figured that you all would need one too and I wanted to be able to have something to share to help you through this process.
So, there are a few alternatives out there, like Twitter (though I don't use Twitter so I'm not sure how that would work), Flipboard, Pulse, Feedly, Taptu , Netvibes, Newsblur, The Old Reader. If you do a quick google search there are many news articles, blog pages etc. giving out alternatives and other ways to help transition.
I took a look at some, and I will tell you right now that Pulse is not worth it, in my opinion. It is very iffy and confusing and I could not for the life of me figure out how to add an RSS feed. Bummer, because I have the app on my Kindle and I know many of you do too, so it would have been ideal.
Feedly is a news aggregator or RSS feed reader application for various Web browsers and mobile devices running iOS and Android. It compiles news feeds from a variety of online sources for the user to customize and share with others.
The application displays news from multiple RSS feeds in a single page using a tile based interface. Pulse has been praised by users for its sleek, easy to use design.
Flipboard is a social-network aggregation, magazine-format application software for Android and iOS.
It collects the content of social media and other websites and presents it in magazine format and allows users to "flip" through their social-networking feeds and feeds from websites that have partnered with the company.
Taptu is a social media and technology company that builds platforms, tools and applications that enable highly personalized creation, curation, recommendation, search, discovery, management, consumption and sharing of content across all personal screen-based devices, and most significantly on touch screen mobile devices, including phones running the operating systems iOS (iPhone) and Android.
The Old Reader
The Old Reader, the ultimate social RSS reader. It's just like the old google reader, only better. We're in beta right now, but we're constantly working on improvements and new features.
Netvibes is a personalized dashboard publishing platform for the Web composed of widgets that are pulled from a widget list open to third party developers.
NewsBlur is a personal news reader bringing people together to talk about the world.
After looking at them all, I've decided to go with Feedly. It's easy to use, it looks like Google Reader and the best part is that it imports all your Google Reader blogs into it.
Feedly is available for a few platforms:
Feedly for iOS
Feedly for Android
Feedly for Chrome
Feedly for Firefox
Feedly for Safari
It was extremely easy. I went to the website, installed the add on for Firefox (which is the browser I use), and had to restart my browser. When I did, it immediately opened up for me and all my Google Reader blogs were right there.
Here's a screenshot so you can see what it looks like:
If you want step by step instructions, be sure to visit this page.
I'm really liking it so far, and it's great knowing that when July 1st rolls around I'll be covered and won't lose all my favorite blogs.
I am still finding my way around Feedly, but I do like how it looks and there seems to be a lot of neat functions.
You can organize the blogs, easily remove, change categories etc.
Themes, change the background to whichever color you like.
And I think one of my favorite features so far, is the ability to view each feed in different ways. Magazine, Mosaic, Cards and Titles. I've picked Cards which shows you the blogs posts as the picture above. Love it.
So there you have it. I do hope I was able to put some of your worries to rest, and give you a few alternatives so that you can start thinking about migrating elsewhere before July 1st. Nothing like being caught off guard.
If you use something other than Google Reader and think it's a good alternative, feel free to share, it may help someone out :)
EDIT: It was brought to my attention that some of the information in this post is similar to a post on cnet. Yes it is, because that is one of the sites I read this morning while gathering alternatives to share.
So as to not confuse anyone, below are the links to the articles I read, if you want to read them too.