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.
First of all, don’t forget to download all your current Reader data from Google. You can do that here:
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!
Import-ant News for Google Reader Users — Blog — WordPress.com
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.
Nice interface, but you can’t share anything unless you upgrade to the paid version. Next!
Meh. And I couldn’t find any settings to adjust font size or anything.
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!
Smashing Reader BETA – Google Reader alternative
Nice big interface but no share features, and no individual “mark as read/unread.”
The Old Reader
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.
Netvibes – Social Media Monitoring, Analytics and Alerts Dashboard
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.
Discover RSS Feeds Multi-Dimensionally · Q-Sensei FeedBooster
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.
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.
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.
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.
RSSOwl – Powerful RSS / RDF / Atom News Feed Reader with Google Reader Synchronization
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.
Omea Reader – RSS News Feed Reader Review
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.
InoReader • Light and Fast RSS Reader
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.
welcome to Feedly
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!
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
Google Reader alternatives: huge list with 100 alternatives
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.