RIP Google Reader

google reader retired
Goodbye to Google Reader

Google Reader is gone.

google reader shutdown
The first message announcing Google Reader shutdown

On March 13th, Google updated their blog, discussing products they were discontinuing, including Google Reader. They cited “declining use” as the reason. What the fuck ever. Everyone I know and talk to uses it and they were just as outraged as I was.

I first started using Google Reader in mid 2007 as a way to keep track of news stories. Then I started following other blogs and added them the RSS feed. It was one of the web apps that I used multiple times a day.

The Final Days of Reader

google reader screen
July 1st – The final day Google Reader was in operation

As the days drew closer to the end of Google Reader, I wondered why they – Google – who is a giant, would get rid of this useful tool. Granted, large companies get rid of stuff all the time, regardless how many people love the product.

My last visit was on July 1st, just to see what I had gotten used to visiting and using. I wanted one last look before all of my feeds went to the virtual trash bin in the cloud.

google reader closed
July 2nd – Google Reader is gone

Sure enough, Google kept their word. July 2nd’s visit to the Reader page showed the above message. Sadness.

Takeout The Reader

google takeout reader export
exporting Google Reader data

For those that are late to the game here, you still have time to get all of your Reader data and feeds and notes using Google Takeout. While I did my switch to another RSS feed reader back in late May, some might have spaced this off. Login to your Google account and go get your data before July 15th. After that date, anything Google Reader on the web will be gone for good.

Feedly

feedly

I mentioned above that I did switch to another RSS feed reader. Feedly emerged as the early favorite and the first one that was free, instead of paid. I wouldn’t have minded paying for an option to manage my blog feeds, but Feedly matches pretty close to what Google Reader provided, given a few navigational differences.

Plus, Feedly is also supported using Reeder for iPhone [Mac and iPad updates coming soon], which is the app I use the most to catch up on news and blogs.

AOL Reader

AOL reader

I didn’t explore any of the other options like Feedbin, which I have heard rave reviews from several people I know in my blogging circle and those tech blogs I read. Towards the end of June, AOL decided to throw it’s hat into the ring with AOL Reader. I decided to import my feeds and see what it had.

There are no apps associated with this. It’s all on the web, but accessible and usable on mobile devices like iPhone and iPad. The interface is nice and it’s easy to navigate. I didn’t have enough time in the last week with it to be critical, but so far, I like it. I am using it with my feeds as a starting point, meaning I marked all feeds as read and just seeing new posts that come in and reading them.

I might just keep it around once it gets out of beta and see what kind of improvements they make along the way. You do need an AOL account to access, which I still have and use [shocking, I know].

Other Feed back

Who else is using Feedly? Feedbin? AOL Reader? Digg Reader? Something else I’ve not heard of?

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