This is going to be a lengthy post. But please bare with me. It’s super informative! As you may have heard, Google Reader will be retiring come July 1. 2013 according to the Official Google Reader Blog because “usage has declined”. Blah, Blah. The blogosphere is in panic mode!
How is anyone supposed to function now?
Personally, I am not too sad about this because I can’t remember the last time I logged into my Google Reader account! I prefer receiving new posts from my favourite blogs through email, as it’s the first thing I check every morning while I have my first cup of coffee. For me, it’s more convenient.
What does this mean for Google Friend Connect?
I think it’s pretty safe to assume that Friend Connect will be getting the boot eventually as well. Google has failed to mention this but considering that the widget’s website no longer works as well as the fact that they’ve pretty much hidden the friend connect widget from the main selections of your “add a gadget” page in Blogger, I would not be surprised. The two services pretty much run hand in hand.If you view this blog through your GFC/Blogger Dashboard, now would be a great time to sign up and receive my feed directly through email.
I have retired the GFC widget from my blog as I do plan on switching over to WordPress soon. Switching to WordPress, and it becomes useless anyways as it has already been canceled for non-blogger blogs. Do you find it annoying when a blog requires you to follow them via GFC to participate in a giveaway? After doing some thinking, if someone is a loyal follower, they will find another way of following your content without GFC.
If you are a blogger, you’ve also heard the rumors of Feedburner shutting down. With all the problems arising for people (myself included) within the last few months, it wouldn’t surprise me. All the more reason to start looking for alternatives, now!
Back on topic. Many people have been freaking out as they relied on Google Reader as their go-to reader to keep up with all their favourite sites.
What Google Reader’s bombshell means for you?
To put it simply, if you use Google Reader to keep up with all the blogs you love, this change means you will have to rely on an alternate tool. There are several services out there that give you the same tools with better options. But first…
Download Your Data from Google Reader
Retain your Reader data, including subscriptions. It sounds scary, but thankfully, it’s a very quick and easy process. Learn How to Export Your RSS Feeds From Google Reader here.
RSS Feed Readers I Recommend
I recommend these services as it was a quick and painless for me to switch over. But remember, after being burned by Google Reader, it’s hard to trust whether or not these other services will be around for the long haul. So keep that in mind. For now, they are great alternatives.
1. Feedly: – This service offers web, Android and iOS apps and can interact with your existing Google Reader account or store feeds on its own backend. You can automatically import your Google Reader feeds.It’s similar enough to Google Reader in that the learning curve isn’t too steep. It features “Categories” for easy organization of news and a home page. “Today,” highlights your top news with images and descriptions.
I like that the interface is effortless and Flipboard-esque, (like flipping through the pages of a magazine). It does have a number of different views though and will keep read/unread lists in sync. Feedly is committed to making the migration from Google Reader to its own sync servers seamless.
2. The Old Reader – This alternative is probably the closest to Google Reader when it comes to interface. Most of the design mirrors what many people have grown so accustomed to(hence the name). You can log in via Google or Facebook and import your feeds from Google Reader or any other service via OPML. If the interface looks familiar, it should. It looks a lot like Google Reader, complete with folders on the left side, your list of stories in the main pane (click any to read), and one-click subscription to new feeds.
3. Bloglovin’ – I’ve been following blogs on Bloglovin’ for quite a while now. It seems they are all set to take the place of Google Reader. They have made it super easy to transfer all the blogs you currently follow on GFC to your Bloglovin’ feed. Click here to import and continue following all of your favourite GFC blogs (which are in your Google Reader as well) through Bloglovin (make sure you are logged in!).
Fellow bloggers make sure to inform your readers of this change asap and find your alternative!
If bloggers were as passionate about world hunger, human trafficking, clear water, and other social issues as they are about losing GFC + Google Reader, the world would be a much better place.”
– Amanda from A Royal Daughter
I came across the above quote recently in a Facebook status that really hit home with me in the midst of the Google Reader freak out. Such a powerful and true statement! Bloggers, myself included, (until I seen that quote) have become so dependent on their follower count through GFC and Google Reader. Now that both platforms are going buh-bye, it’s a catastrophe! Are we really that wrapped up in it? After a lot of thinking.. For me personally, I blog to write. Hey, making a few $$$ here and there, doesn’t hurt, but I am a woman who writes my stories and thoughts with words… not numbers. Numbers do not make you influential. Your attitude is what makes you influential.
Yes, it sucks big time losing hard earned followers and having to start over, but is there really anything we can do when we use products such as GFC, that don’t allow you to transfer your “readers” over to a new service? No. So I’m not going to bitch about it. I’m gonna move on to other services that will hopefully stick around. Some things are beyond our control it’s not worth being pissed off about. It’s not the end of the world people!
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What are your thoughts on the end of Google Reader? What alternatives are you using?