So, Google announced this week that they’re pulling the plug on their Reader app.
This is bad news for me, and I’d imagine for quite a few of my blogging friends, too. I use Reader to aggregate about 100 blogs. It’s not a pretty app, to say the least, but it’s super functional in that it gathers together all those blogs in one simple window, allowing me to quickly scan every new post, which saves oodles of time.
But on July 1, they’re taking it away. Poof! I can almost hear the Powers that Be at Google saying, in a Snidely Whiplash voice, “Good luck, suckers! Now you HAVE to use Google+! BWA HA HA HA HA!!!”
As soon as I heard the news, I began my search for a new blog aggregator, and quickly discovered that most of them work by syncing with– wait for it– Google Reader. Gah! How’s that for Information Age irony? It’s a crap shoot whether they’ll still work after Reader bites the dust. Fortunately, though, there are a few that function independently of Reader, and in this post I’ll offer a very quick rundown of three options that look promising. Please bear in mind that I’m a new user of all these services, so I’m going largely on first impressions.
This is a pretty simple aggregator- you get the blogs you follow in a single-column feed, usually with a featured photo. It’s a somewhat leisurely way to browse your subscriptions, as you can only see one or two posts on the screen at a time, but it gets the job done. You can easily import your entire subscription base from Google Reader into bloglovin, so no worries about everything breaking on July 1. They offer a “Subscribe” widget that you can place in your own blog so your readers can easily follow you.
Incidentally, I’ve also heard good things about The Old Reader and Newsblur, but the onslaught of new Google Reader refugees has completely maxed them out for the time being.
So, Reader fans, there’s no reason at all to worry about losing all those feeds you’ve worked so hard to collect! In fact, now that I’ve experienced these three fine alternatives, I’m kind of wishing I’d switched over a long time ago. I know there are several other viable options out there– these are simply the three that I’ve experimented with and like. If you have others to recommend, I’d love to hear about it.
Have a great weekend!