I’ve been in mourning over Google’s decision to shut down Reader. MOURNING. Honestly, I love having a centralized location for all of my favorite blogs. It is like my own customized newspaper delivered each morning. I’ve been using Google Reader since about 2007, and in that time I’ve amassed an enormous collection of favorites. Whenever I find something I want to remember or be able to go back and read, I Tweet it out and then immediately favorite it. I can’t tell you how often I go to my Reader when I’m remembering something great that I favorited that I want to revisit or share. Daily.
Google Reader is closing the door on July 1st. I’ve been trying to pretend that this day isn’t coming. Denial won’t stop it. Today I decided to settle in and start going through my favorites to save them to my Pinterest boards. I’ve found some great alternatives for Google Reader, but I have yet to find one that transfers both current RSS feeds and favorites. I talked to Feedly on Twitter and they said that they are working on it. I haven’t seen this feature added yet. Not willing to lose all of those favorites, I’m going through the painstaking process of saving them elsewhere. On the upside: I’m being reminded of the brilliance I’m surrounded by online.
If you are looking for a replacement RSS feed reader (say for your favorite blog…*ahem*) here are some great alternatives.
1. The Old Reader is in beta, it was built to be a replacement for Google Reader. It looks a whole lot like the Google Reader you know and love. For those super geeks (own it!) you can even use the same keyboard shortcuts. This option is free but is currently browser-based only…no mobile apps yet. Alas, that is where I do the majority of my reading.
2. Feedly is a good RSS reader alternative. In addition to collecting your RSS feeds for you, it has a news suggestion algorithm that will suggest other articles that you will probably find interesting. Great unless you have a reader like I do…then it becomes an endless rabbit hole that is hard to walk away from. Feedly also has a great social aspect that makes it easy to share with friends and post to social networks. With Feedly you can choose what type of layout you prefer. You can easily transfer all of your current subscriptions from Google Reader to Feedly. Feedly comes as browser extension and mobile app.
3. News Blur is similar to Google Reader, you can share articles, save for future reading, star them or start your own daily “burblog” of news stories that you want to share with others. It comes in mobile app format. Now the bad news: free accounts are capped at 64 blogs and 10 stories at a time (this would never do for me). Premium users pay $24 a year to subscribe to as many sites as they want. The worse news: currently they aren’t allowing free users to sign up. Dang. It.
4. Pulse lets you keep up on the blogs that you subscribe to, but it primarily recommends stories it thinks you will enjoy. Pulse looks a little more like Feedly and will also let you import your Google Reader feed (mobile version only). Articles can be saved, shared, browsed, sorted by category.
5. NetVibes is a RSS reader and a social aggregation service. Basic accounts are free which will do what you need to follow your feeds. You can add widgets like weather, Twitter, and top news stories to your NetVibe dashboard. The bad news: there aren’t any mobile apps.
6. Feed Demon is not only an RSS reader, it also lets you set up keywords to be alerted about. If a keyword appears in a feed (whether you subscribe to it or not) it will apear in your feed. It also lets you subscribe to podcasts, it automatically stores them in a directory and makes it easy to save them to a mobile device.
7. Flipboard recommends feeds but also lets you subscribe to RSS feeds. The layout is beautiful and looks like a magazine. You can also add your social networks including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It brings your online life together in one place. Favorites can be saved. Flipboard is available for the iPad, iPhone, Android, Kindle Fire and Nook.
8. Feedbin makes it easy to subscribe to new feeds by domain or by feed url. You can import your current feeds using the OPML import feature. You can organize all of your feeds by Tags. Just like Google Reader, Feedbin has great keyboard shortcuts that will help you get through your news efficiently. Feedbin is not free, it currently costs $2/month. The biggest benefit (and the reason this will most likely be my choice) you can connect Feedbin to the Reeder app!! I currently use the Reeder app to read my Google Reader feeds. I absolutely LOVE Reeder, It is such a beautiful way to read, save, share, etc. all of my RSS feeds. Reeder is still working out a solution for July 1st. In the mean time, it is available for free in the iTunes app store and you can connect it to Feedbin. Reeder is working out the ability to connect it to other readers as well.
RSS feeds are a great way to bring professional development to your fingertips ever day. Don’t let the demise of Google Reader stop you from learning!