Another Change is Coming
In part of their “Spring Cleaning” of features and services Google had been offering (you can read about the some 70 features Google will be discontinuing here), Google Reader will be retired July 1, 2013. This is important news to those of you who love to keep up with their favorite blogs through RSS feeds.
The main advantages to Google Reader included Updates–allow you to subscribe to these blogger’s RSS feeds, and it checks them every so often for new content. So instead of visiting blogs individually, you log into Google Reader, Google reader tells you which of the websites have updated, and what they updated with, and you can view the new content, either in Reader, or go to the website. Organization-you cound group your rss feeds by topic and read them at your leisure.
What is an RSS feed? You may be new to blogging and may not realize an extremely easy and convenient way to follow your favorite blogs. There are several ways you can follow your favorite blog which include: Directly to your Emails; RSS feeds, Facebook, Twitter, Bloglovin, Hometalk, Google+, Digg, Tumblr and more.
RSS feed is Really Simple Syndicationthere’s also syndication feeds-a beneficial way to receive updates to your favorite websites. This terrific breakthrough allowed subscribers to keep up with their favorite sites instead of email notifications. You can ‘read’ your feeds in magazine style or in lists- on an all in one site. Google Reader bacame quite popular with bloggers for this feature. More benefits to RSS feeds vs Email include: No Spam – you’re the one to submit the subscribed feeds; simplicity – all sites can be viewed from one application; customizable – you can add folders to combine your interest and even link your application to Facebook, Twitter and more.
So, with the retirement date of Google Reader looming in our future what are your options, what are the alternatives to Google Reader for bloggers:
1. Feedly: according to reports around 500,000 Google Reader subscribers have migrated their feeds to Feedly. Yes! I did say migrate. Signing up to Feedly is so easy and once you’ve done it, they automatically transfer your subscribed feeds from Google Reader to Feedly. Feedly is a free download or application – an extension you add to your computer. Once it is installed an you log the transformation begins and you can start reading your RSS feeds or customize your page.
Here is a picture of my Feedly page. Love this look! It is similar to the layout of my blog with Features at the top and a list of truncated blog posts, with pictures below! Also, some of the customization you can do include: theme color – I changed mine, sync with Facebook and Twitter – I can see the latest posts and tweets!
Things you can do with Feedly include:
organize – group your rss feeds by topic
theme – background color – I chose a lovely green
preferences – sync with Facebook and Twitter
View the site from Feedly, or click on the post heading and go directly to the post to leave a comment
mark a post to ‘save for later’
view an index of all the blogs/sites you follow
I am really liking this alternative so far. What I would like to see is an Icon you can use to encourage readers to use Feedly; a ‘subscribe’ button on the sidebar similar to the Pin button – perhaps they’re there and I haven’t found them yet.
note: I did have to enable ‘show develop menu in bar’ for my Mac to be able to implement Feedly once downloaded.
Here are other RSS Readers that are being touted as good alternatives to Google Reader:
Google recommends their Google Takeout
The Old Reader – advertises itself as ‘just like the ‘Old Google Reader but Better’. Subscriptions are transferable.
Pulse – Looks impressive, but as of yet doesn’t have a means to migrate Google Reader subscriptions
Bloglines – similar to Google Reader, but you’ll have to manually transfer your subscriptions.
DIGG – reports are circulating that DIGG is creating an alternative to Google Reader
update: Although not an RSS reader, I wanted to give Networked Blogs on Facebook a thumbs up. I haven’t delved into it that much, but I can see it as an excellent way to follow and to read your favorite blog’s posts.
How about going outside of the web browser box? There are numerous RSS reader apps available to Microsoft and Mac computers. The bottom line is – ease in transfer so you don’t have to spend much time searching, working on and thinking about your RSS feed source. I LOVE the K.I.S.S. principle (Keep It Simple Sweetie). Since the announcement of the retirement of Google Reader, sites like Feedly and DIGG are doing what they can to make themselves to Google Reader users. They’ve got my attention!