Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Great Google Reader Apocalypse, Or France Beckons Again

Today’s post was going to be filled with lovely photos in anticipation of my upcoming return to France.

But then POW! BAM! AAACK!  I realized that I was only a little over two weeks away from the Great Google Reader Apocalypse.  “What’s that?” you may ask.  Well, it’s total annihilation of my on-line life.  If you’re an obsessively regular reader of a large number of websites like I am, you’ve become quite familiar with that little RSS feed symbol.  Click on that and you immediately add another website to your long list of continuously updating feeds that you could never finish reading, even if you took a year-long vacation to, well, France.  Yeah, that’s how it is for those of us addicted to words.

But the king of feed readers will soon be no more.  For all you Google Reader addicts out there, don’t forget that it dies on July 1 and you’ll risk becoming an RSS orphan.  No amount of protests in forums or online petitions could melt the heart of “The Google” and stop its pell-mell rush in a direction away from the if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it compulsion.

So I finally acted on the task, “change reader,” that had been popping up in my smartphone’s task widget every day for three months.  Having successfully migrated to my new home for my extensive list of websites, let me tell you where and how to find some alternatives to Google Reader.  That way you’ll be able to keep receiving my blog feeds just as I head off for another few weeks in France.

If you just search “google reader replacement” you’ll find hundreds of discussions about the best options.  You could expend hours reading every comment on every web page to make sure you’ve considered every possible option.  But you really don’t have to because, believe me, I have.  I’ve reduced the options for those not technically astute (me) to just two RSS feed machines.

If you still want to review the options for yourself here are two informative articles for you.  The The Moz Blog is testing a different RSS feed each week and reports on how easily they function.  In addition, it gives simple instructions on how, first and foremost, to save all of your subscriptions to your computer.  The Life Hacker website also has a helpful review of alternatives.

But let me cut to the chase.  Unless you’re an extreme techie, the consensus is to go with either NetVibes or Feedly.  Transferring your RSS subscriptions is simple.  For Feedly, it’s a one-click deal for getting it on your computer and easy integration for your other devices.  Through your Google account it can access your list and immediately open up on your Feedly page.  It also preserves your starred items under the category “saved for later.”
Netvibes transfers with only a couple of clicks.  As explained here, first you save all your subscriptions to a zip file.  Then you export them easily to your Netvibes account.  I’ve not yet found any evidence, however, that Netvibes preserves any of your starred Google Reader items.  You could do that manually by opening your “starred” list in Google and find the items in Netvibes “reader view” where you can click on the little clock for “read later.”  I do have to admit, though, that I have NOT figured out yet how to search for an individual item in Netvibes if I remember a key word but not which blog where it appears.  For that reason alone, I’ll be more likely to gravitate toward Feedly.

I’m still playing with both, so I can’t say which I’ll settle on.  Mostly I’m in early mourning for the loss of Google Reader.  If you’ve already made the change, tell me in the comments box which new reader you prefer.  And be sure to act on this before you lose your online life.  I’m off to France next week, so if you like the photos or the food or the music or the scenes of my French life, get me in a new reader stream soon.  A bientôt!

Here's hoping there's light at the end of the Google Reader Apocalypse tunnel


Rabia said...

I switched to Feedly. I like it.

Lee I said...

I use Reading List in Blogger, but I guess you have to have a Blogger Dashboard for that.

Julie Farrar said...

I have a blogger dashboard because of my blog, but doesn't that only list blogger websites?

Lee I said...

You just enter the URL of any blog you read.

Muriel said...

I need to do something about Google Reader. I simply haven't made up my mind yet!

Ellen Gregory said...

I haven't even looked at my Google Reader feed for a couple of years. I seem to be happiest clicking through from links as they're posted. BUT I think I could be doing it way more efficiently, so perhaps I'll transfer everything to Feedly and get into a better habit...

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