So here I am, trying to somehow fit blogging back into my regular day-to-day, and I log back into Google Reader to catch back up with everyone... and I am greeted with a fairly jarring message that Google Reader is all sorts of done come this July. Wha?
The first questions that flitted through my disappointment were:
- How am I going to organize the blogs I follow?
- If I find another reader service, do I have to write down each blog name and manually type it into this new service? What a pain!
- What is the deal with Google discontinuing their products? First Picnik, the photo-editing site, and now Google Reader? What's next, Gmail? I don't really care about Google+, but if I see Gmail go away, I know I'm going to be just past my tolerance threshold for products I love that get discontinued.
So are there alternatives?
With a few helpful searches (on Google! *gigglesnort*) I came across articles that offered alternatives. I've chosen Feedly.com for now.
- Feedly.com: This seems to be the most reliable alternative. It will connect directly to your Google Reader and download content and they have PROMISED that they will continue successful migrations past the July 2013 retirement of Google Reader. I started using it today and I really like the format. Visually, it's a lot prettier to view and doesn't seem so boring, like Google Reader was.
Here are two screenshots of what my Feedly looks like. Not bad, right? I'm not sure what their process is for certain articles or blogs to be "featured," but you can see on the right-hand side that there is an initial list of most recent blog posts. Then, you can click a different button and view all posts that are brand new in almost the exact same perspective as Google Reader, but it looks so much nicer. You can change the colors in the appearance as well.
So the bottom line is that while it makes sense for Google to streamline their efforts to focus on a few products versus spreading themselves too thin and having too many products, thus watering down their internal efforts to continue to be a powerhouse, it's still not fun for the average consumer/blogger reader like you and me. For now, I'm going to play with Feedly.com for a few weeks and see if I like it. Doesn't seem so bad right now.
Any other services you prefer to use for blog reading that you can recommend to everyone?