Suitable alternatives to Google Reader

Google Reader is no more. Or at least will be no more after 1st July this year.

This makes me sad, but as I’m reminded by this sensible post, it was always Google’s product, not ours:

The death of Google Reader reveals a problem of the modern Internet that many of us likely have in the back of our heads but are afraid to let surface: We are all participants in a user driven Internet, but we are still just the users, nothing more. No matter how much work we put in to optimize our online presences, our tools and our experiences, we are still at the mercy of big companies controlling the platforms we operate on. When they don’t like what’s happening, even if we do, they can make whatever call they want. And Wednesday night, Google made theirs.

Because while there were a lot of people using Reader, there simply weren’t enough, as this unnecessarily provocative comment points out:

In other words, no one uses RSS. No one ever has. Not at the level for which Google Reader was meant: an average computer user.
It’s not being used. Google is dropping it. Get over it. The “market” has spoken.

Well, I did. I used it every day. And I loved the way it linked into all my other Google apps (which aren’t actually mine either). But, much like Cavendish’s Cinema Noveau, Reader simply wasn’t doing the business and so we must move on.

But where to?

Well, we’ve got a few months to explore our options and so that’s what I’m going to do. And I’m going to start by giving feedly a go, not least because they’ve been waiting for this moment and they have made it easy to move my stuff from Reader to their product.

Google announced today that they will be shutting down Google Reader. This is something we have been expecting for some time: We have been working on a project called Normandy which is a feedly clone of the Google Reader API – running on Google App Engine. When Google Reader shuts down, feedly will seamlessly transition to the Normandy back end. So if you are a Google Reader user and using feedly, you are covered: the transition will be seamless.

Which sounds promising, and with apps for iOS, Android, Chrome, Firefox and Safari (find them via the link above), there’s something for everyone.

I’ve installed feedly on my tablet and, with a quick login to my Google account, my feeds have indeed moved across seamlessly. The UI is going to take a bit of figuring out, but just because it’s different to Reader, doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

I’ll keep you informed of how I get along with feedly and you can let me know how you get along with your chosen successor in the comments below.

UPDATE: A few days later, check what I think of Feedly.

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