As many of you know, I’ve been an avid Google Reader user for five years. Last night, Google announced they’re shutting Google Reader down July 1. It’s a smart business decision for Google. It presents a bit of a challenge for folks like me.
For most of you, this change won’t matter. You’re already consuming content through trusted resources by using tools like Twitter and Facebook. You just skim the breaking news to grab what catches your attention. That’s a great option for most people. It’s not ideal, though, for those that want to track older content from many sources.
Others have been using Google Reader primarily as a way to import the content they want to follow into apps like Flipboard and Pulse. The problem is those apps, without Google Reader, make it challenging to aggregate content from many RSS feeds. (I’m currently subscribed to over 175 different sites.) If you just want to follow the news from a handful of mainstream content providers, these apps are a great option for you.
Unfortunately, that means folks like me are on the hunt for alternatives. After a little “Google” research, the current viable options look like:
- The Old Reader – I haven’t even been able to import my RSS feed subscriptions yet to test it out, because they’re having load issues.
- NewsBlur – Has restrictive limits on their free accounts, and I’m not ready to commit to a premium account this early in the transition.
- Netvibes – Looks like an option. I’ve imported my RSS feed subscriptions. However, because of the load on their systems, I’ve not really been able to test it out.
- Feedly – Based on first impressions, this appears to be the front runner. They indicate they’re committed to life after Google Reader. And, their web interface and iOS and Android apps demonstrate they’re mindful of both functionality and design.
Here are the instructions if you’d like to migrate to Feedly and give it a test drive with me. Be patient though. All these services are getting heavy traffic today from folks just like you and me who are investigating Google Reader alternatives.
And don’t be surprised if new options pop up in the coming months. After the dust settles, I’ll give you and update on where I’ve landed.
In the mean time, I’ll be investigating options for when Google decides to shut down Feedburner. For content producers like me, that’s a much bigger deal.