Posted in FYI

Reader Madness

It’s hard to believe that this is the last week of Google Reader’s life.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve used it every day for the last 5 or 6 years.  Any time I found a feed I was interested in, I popped it right into my Reader and boom, any time the author posted to their site, I knew about it.  Sure beat the heck out of trying to single-handedly visit each individual site I was interested in, Reader did all the work for me!   And I collected a ton of feeds along the way.  Okay, maybe not a ton, but a quarter ton, for sure.

So I was left kind of floundering when they announced it was being terminated.  What to do?  Well, play, I suppose.  I checked out so many Reader-type options that my head was spinning.  I still don’t think I’ve kept them all straight, but I’ve tried.  Most, in all honesty, I ditched after a day or 2, for one reason or another.  I’m pretty picky, I admit it. 

So, here’s a brief rundown on the feed Readers I checked out.

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First of all, don’t forget to download all your current Reader data from Google.  You can do that here:
Google Takeout
https://www.google.com/takeout/

This is important, because once Google Reader’s gone, you won’t be able to get all your subscriptions.  You’ll have to individually and manually set them up in a new Reader service.  So get them while they’re still hot!

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Import-ant News for Google Reader Users — Blog — WordPress.com

http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/google-reader/

Did you know, if you’re a WordPress blogger, you can import all your Reader subscriptions right into your WordPress Reader?  The cool thing is, you never have to leave WordPress.  The bad thing is, you can’t share anything unless it’s another WP blog and you’re re-blogging it onto your own blog.  You can pull in Blogger posts, et al, but you can’t like or comment on them from WP, you have to go to the post itself.  But if you like not having to step outside of WP, this might work for you.

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BlogBridge

http://www.blogbridge.com/

Nice interface, but you can’t share anything unless you upgrade to the paid version.  Next!

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Rolio

https://www.rolio.com/

Meh.  And I couldn’t find any settings to adjust font size or anything.

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Vortl

http://www.vortl.com/

What?  No import feature?  So, you can choose from the list of sites they give you, and/or you can individually add sites to follow, but it won’t import.  Next!

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Smashing Reader BETA – Google Reader alternative

http://smashingreader.com/

Nice big interface but no share features, and no individual “mark as read/unread.”

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The Old Reader

http://theoldreader.com/

Kind of like the old Reader.  Sort of.  But not.  You can’t share outside of The Old Reader, and when you import, you lose any folders and/or tags you may have had, so you have to re-do the whole thing.  Not fun if you have a lot of feeds.

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Bloglines

http://www.bloglines.com/

 

Netvibes – Social Media Monitoring, Analytics and Alerts Dashboard

http://www.netvibes.com/en

And the difference between these 2 is … okay, maybe NetVibes has more themes.  This one isn’t bad, but I think even Barbie would find the font too small to read, and no apparent way to adjust it.  The layouts with the widgets were interesting.

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Discover RSS Feeds Multi-Dimensionally · Q-Sensei FeedBooster

http://feeds.qsensei.com/home.html

You get a grid of gray boxes.  Or rows of gray boxes.  I told it to allow pictures but none showed up.  In the boxes you get a headline, and the initial lines of the post, but you can’t scroll in the box and you can’t enlarge it either, you have to leave the reader to read the article. 

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Pulse

https://www.pulse.me/

Has great potential.  Very visually oriented and you can’t get an overview of everything in your reader all at once, but if you click into a folder, you can see all that’s in that folder.  Decent sharing and able to adjust font size, too.  Kind of like Feedly, but not as intuitive.

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RSS FWD

http://www.rssfwd.com/index.aspx

I bookmarked this one but haven’t tried it yet.  It’s a mail service that enables you to get your Reader posts in your email.  The reason I haven’t checked it out yet is because I’ve been using BlogTrottr.

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BlogTrottr

http://blogtrottr.com/

This service also sends all your feeds postings into your inbox.  The nice thing is, you can use your email program’s filtering abilities to sort all your feeds.  But the set up for that is a pain, especially if you have a lot of feeds.  Once it’s done though, it’s done.  What I like about this service is that I can tell it to forward the posts as soon as they’re posted, or hold them and send them all at once in a single daily email, per feed.  (For example, if I follow your blog, and you post 10 times a day, I have the option to get one email with 10 posts, or 10 emails with 1 post each.)  Plus, it’s available wherever your email is.  Some of these Reader services aren’t friendly with all browsers, and mobile devices, but you can get your email on any of them.  Able to share to a few social media services.

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RSSOwl – Powerful RSS / RDF / Atom News Feed Reader with Google Reader Synchronization

http://www.rssowl.org/overview2

NOT a web based Reader, but a desktop one.  Has a lot of social sharing services but I’m still a bit confused on trying to figure out how to organize it.  Might be awesome once I get it figured out.  I think I inadvertently imported my feeds a couple times, because it’s a real mess.  Might delete the whole thing and start over, because it does have a lot of nice features.

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Omea Reader – RSS News Feed Reader Review

http://email.about.com/od/rssreaderswin/gr/omea_reader.htm

Another desktop Reader service.  Looks like it was designed in the olden days of the World Wide Web, back when it was still The Information Highway.  And doesn’t seem to have been updated since.  Oddly enough – or perhaps not – it will sync up with your Internet Explorer so you can access your feeds from IE when you have both open. 

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InoReader • Light and Fast RSS Reader

http://inoreader.com/

An awesome little alternative to Google Reader.  Nice interface, social sharing abilities, font adjustment, usable on The Big 3 Browsers.  Nice!  Has become my 2nd goto service, and has lots of potential to be my first.

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welcome to Feedly

http://www.feedly.com/home#welcome

My new #1.  Feedly has made a determined and admirable effort to be the leader of the pack.  At first, I was dubious because their interface seemed a little confusing to me.  Plus, initially they weren’t able to play with IE.  (I like using IE sometimes – they still have a “Blog This” link to my beloved Windows Live Writer.)  But in the last few days, they’ve made some upgrades and went to a cloud service (cloud.feedly.com), bypassing the need to get IE’s API.  (IE doesn’t like to play nice with that.)   So now you can get Feedly on The Big 3 (and mobile devices) as well.  No font adjustment, but they already have a decent reading size, and nothing I’m sure a “ctrl+” wouldn’t take care of.  Nice layouts, nice options, some social sharing features with more on the way, fairly intuitive.  Win! 

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So those are my brief thoughts on some of the available Reader options.  Also, listed below are a couple more links I found to other sites that might work for you if none of the above do. 

Check Out These Google Reader Alternatives
http://mashable.com/2013/03/14/google-reader-alternatives/

Google Reader alternatives: huge list with 100 alternatives
http://www.rss-readers.org/allgemein/google-reader-alternatives-huge-list-with-100-alternatives/

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Have you made the switch already?  Hanging on to Google Reader until the bitter end (Sunday!)?  Do you have a favorite?  If so, which one and why?  I’d love to hear your take on the whole thing. 

All rights reserved by Vanessence

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8 thoughts on “Reader Madness

  1. *Standing ovation*

    GREAT round-up, babe! Thank you for taking the effort and sharing this!

    Between now and Sunday, would you consider making this post a page of its own so I can hop around and check out some of the ones I wasn’t able to look at? No big deal if that’s not possible. I’m pretty settled on Feedly, but maybe one of the others will strike my eye.

    Thanks and love you!

    Like

  2. Wow, you really did your homework! I switched to The Old Reader a while ago and I’m happy with it. I read in an article that if you like Google Reader and just pretty much want the same interface that The Old Reader was the way to go, and that was all I needed to hear. I don’t use sharing or tag features, so I barely notice any difference from Google reader. The import was easy. At first TOR was slammed by thousands of people migrating all at once, so they needed a little time to upgrade their infrastructure, but that’s all sorted out now and I haven’t had any “servers unavailable” messages in more than a month. Feedly was highly recommended but at that point they hadn’t gotten over the IE obstacle yet, so I didn’t check them out. Now that I’m used to The Old Reader I’ll probably stay with them.

    Like

    1. Thanks, Spark! 🙂

      I know what you’re saying about TOR. For the features you’re looking for, it’s the perfect vehicle. And Feedly got a lot of criticism for the IE thing, which was really out of their control, insofar as creating an app for IE like they had for Chrome and FireFox. Going to the cloud bypassed the need for IE’s API so that fixed that. But I do think they lost a lot of potential followers by not having something in IE from the get-go.

      Still, Google Reader had some features you just can’t get anywhere else, and I’m going to miss that. There are still some on the list here that I’d like to drill down into a little more, though. RSS Owl has lots of potential, but it’s not web based.

      It’s hard – once you get used to a thing, it sure hard to switch.

      Like

    1. Hello Jelena. 🙂

      No, I didn’t forget it. SilverReader just never showed up on my radar during the dozens of searches that I did for Reader alternatives.

      Your comment here is live now, so basically you’ve added it to the list.

      Thanks for stopping by and adding your input. 🙂
      ~Ness

      Like

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