So, how are we going to replace Google Reader?

This is Very Bad News:

We have just announced on the Official Google Blog that we will soon retire Google Reader (the actual date is July 1, 2013). We know Reader has a devoted following who will be very sad to see it go. We’re sad too.

There are two simple reasons for this: usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products. We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience.

To ensure a smooth transition, we’re providing a three-month sunset period so you have sufficient time to find an alternative feed-reading solution. If you want to retain your Reader data, including subscriptions, you can do so through Google Takeout.

I use — and depend on — Google Reader to keep on top of blogs, breaking news and tons of topics. It is an incredibly useful tool that helps me read, follow and organize a host of scattered information from any computer or from my Kindle.

Right now the 487 subscriptions in Reader have become my daily newspaper. That’s far fewer than the 3,408 subscriptions AZspot relies on for his invaluable Tumblr, but I have no idea how I would keep track of all of that without Google Reader.

Google says:

Once downloaded, your subscription data should be easily transferrable to another product, where you can continue to keep up with your online reading.

That’s good to know, but the reason I’ve been using Reader and not “another product” is that I haven’t found another product that does what Reader does.

But now, apparently, I have until July 1 to find one.

And no, no, no, no, noplease do not suggest that Facebook and Twitter are any sort of substitute.

One key thing I’m looking for in a replacement tool is the ability to access my feeds from anywhere and to sync that reading across platforms (Mac, chromebook, Kindle being the three I need).

Nate Hoffelder suggests “Seven Google Reader Alternatives for the Hard-Core User” — including Feedly, NewsBlur, Tiny Tiny RSS, The Old Reader, BlogLines, Opera, and Feeds Anywhere.

Does anyone currently use any of those? How are they? Any recommendations?

And then, just as Google has me grumpily fuming that the Web was working quite nicely before they came along and “fixed” it, Disqus decides to roll out its latest upgrade/degrade. That’s not helping.

See also:

• mistermix: Despite All My Rage, I’m Still Just a Rat in Google’s Cage

• Alastair Roberts: A Lament for Google Reader

• Bob Warfield: 6 Ways the Pundits Are Dazed and Confused About Google Reader and RSS

• Laura Hazard Owen: Google Reader, please don’t go — I need you to do my job

• Mat Honan: RIP: Google Reader Meets Its Inevitable End

• James Fallows: Today’s ‘Google, How Could You?’ Round-up

• Rupert Goodwins: Killing Google Reader is like killing the bees: we’ll all be worse off



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  • Rule of thumb: Whenever you find yourself asking “Why did this clever person do this stupid thing?” the answer is “It’s the money, stupid.”

    Google Reader could not be easily monetized.

  • OriginalExtraCrispy

    I’ve used Bloglines for a year or two now. It has problems, but it’s clean and efficient, and adding new blogs is easy.

  • LoneWolf343

    Hear hear. Google knows too much about me as it is.

  • Considering that Disqus has had robust servers, I think at this point I’ll be happy if there’s no more random database connectivity issues and/or sudden losses of all comments when using JavaScript.

    But flat commenting FTW.

  • Baby_Raptor

    …Damnit. I LIKE my iGoogle page. >.<

    Thanks for informing me.

  • Ash Walter

    I use Opera for my browsing and RSSing. It works great for me, but it doesn’t do syncing as intuitively as I’d like . . . that is to say, I don’t know if it does it since I haven’t tried. I simply go without my RSS feeds when I go out of town.

  • H. Rasmussen

    I tried The Old Reader, and didn’t like it, because there didn’t seem to be any way to set up a folder without dragging and dropping the feed into it.

    I like NewsBlur, but it took a bit of a shock from the first day exodus, so he had to put some temporary limits in place.

    Also, when available (it’s currently not) the free account option normally only allows you to have 64 feeds, you have to pay for a premium account for more than that (currently you have a choice of $2/mth or $3/mth in a “pay what you like” sort of way; at the time I switched to premium they also had a $1/mth which has been temporarily disabled, but I think that option will be back soon)

    While I’m waiting for NewsBlur to finish stabilizing, I’m also using RSSOwl as a desktop application, which I find very user friendly.

  • Hexep

    Wow, this conversation is making me realize just how far behind I’ve fallen on all this…

  • Zeborah

    I’ve started using NetVibes and just scroll to the bottom of the screen, then when I’m finished each post hit ‘k’ for “previous post”. It’s habit for me anyway, otherwise I can imagine it might be annoying.

    Have heard good things about Old Reader; I believe Tiny Tiny RSS requires you to install it on your own server; I heard Feedly doesn’t really do the same things as Google Reader but I’m not sure *which* differences that was talking about. I have a feeling BlogLines doesn’t put things in folders (which NetVibes *does* do just the way I wanted) but may be mixing that up with something else?

  • Lifehacker has a good list.

  • RavenOnTheHill

    The Old Reader looks pretty good, so far. Its import capability is currently overloaded, however.

  • Figs

    I started using Bloglines in parallel with Google Reader last week (I used Bloglines exclusively before Google Reader), and I found that it takes significantly longer than Reader to update feeds. Like, disappointingly longer. Maybe this is because their system is overloaded because of the influx, but still, it’s a concern to be noted.

  • I like Tiny Tiny RSS, but it’s admittedly not for everybody, insofar as it’s basically just a framework for setting up your own “Reader” website.

  • The_L1985

    tbh, I never used RSS feeds because I wasn’t sure how they work. Where do the update notifications get sent?

  • I am an avid Google Reader user; from what I understand the two “front runners” in my circle of friends are Feedly & The Old Reader.

    Personally, when Google Reader was lobotomized by Google, & sharing was disabled? I started using Tumblr as my sharing platform. They have a bookmarklet that works well; I just use it as my “broadcast” platform; you can add my Tumblr as an RSS feed.

    It is a wonky work around but a good way to restore sharing features once you get the hang of it.

  • Oh WOAH that category thing is a huge issue I never thought of!

  • That isn’t how it works; rather it is like one big blog that updates whenever any of the sites you have added update, aggregating them all together.

  • Yeah I have heard things but I get the impression that I’m not quite techy enough to navigate it.

  • The_L1985

    Wow. That is actually 1000x more useful than I was expecting. It’s time for me to finally get with the 21st century.

  • It is seriously the ONLY sensible paradigm for interfacing with the internet. All my blogs & news sites & image libraries & gif repositories & whatever– whenever one updates, it shows up in my reader. Actually going to every single website individually sounds like a nightmare.

  • The_L1985

    How do you sign up for just Basic? I dont’ want to risk being charged $500/month.

  • The_L1985

    …That’s what I’ve been doing. It takes me several hours to go through everything.

  • The_L1985

    I’m trying to grok “you ONLY get to have 64 feeds.” People seriously have that many?

  • Seriously, set aside a couple of hours, clicking those RSS feeds & adding them to a reader. You’ll make the rest of your life infinitely better.

  • Fogeyman

    I’ve switched to NewsBlur, and am pretty happy with it so far. It was a bit wonky during the first mass exodus, but is pretty stable now. It’s also got iPad and iPhone apps, which makes me happy.

  • John Small Berries

    Bah, screw The Old Reader. Today, there are over 25,000 people ahead of me in the import queue – I actually lost ground! Feedly imported my Google Reader subscriptions immediately, it updates the various RSS feeds with about the same frequency as Google Reader (The Old Reader seems to be several hours behind), and there are iOS/Android apps for Feedly to boot.

  • Phil

    I’ve been using feedly since the Reader announcement, and so far it’s lovely. I’ve no idea if it’ll continue to run as well once they’re using their own backend instead of Google, though

  • Another Matt

    I’ve been using feedly for the last week. It’s pretty OK. It’s just not the same as Reader, but I didn’t expect it to be. I haven’t used it on my phone yet.

  • Ani J. Sharmin

    Thanks for posting. I had not heard of this. I’ll have to find a new feed reader, too. I really appreciate the thoughts and opinions from people in the comments.

  • tu_ne_cede_malis

    Old Reader looks like ti might be good, setting min up now