/* Ajith - Syntax Higlighter - End ----------------------------------------------- */

3.16.2013

Death of Google Reader - Journey towards alternatives

Flashback

Long Long ago when INTERNET is booming up with so many websites its really hard to follow the interesting one. Its quite clumsy to go around miliions of sites to check for new posts.

Am I Doomed ?

No, you are not. RSS feed mechanism is the answer.


Just follow the RSS feed of your favourite site and the RSS reader will maintain the unread articles, favourite articles and so on. Voilla simple and effective solution to follow various sites.

Which RSS reader to use ? 

I started my journey with Google Reader just because

  • Service from GOOGLE (Truly .. those were the days everyone crazy to use Google Services. Even having a GMAIL account is symbol of techy saviness.)
  • Simplicity
  • Cleaner interface
  • Meets all my basic needs like tagging, starring, sharing
  • No extra signup trash (Just use your google account)

I am already using it for last 6 years and I simply love it. I have around 1000+ subscriptions on various topics in it.

Present

As part of cleanup process which GOOGLE follows for its services they decided to ditch Google reader with only reason saying - it doesnt meets their expectation. Being a Loyal user of Google from last 6 years I have really lost my trust on them when they scrapped Google Reader. I really need to think alternatives for their services.

Uproar started every where as users backlashed at google's decision in various popular social networking sites. Even I am one among them. Nothing can be done but looking for alternatives.

Future

Before I really jump into alternatives for Google reader I decided to sort down my requirements.

  • Web based RSS reader like Google Reader not a application only one. Its main advantage is I can read from anywhere from browser.
  • Simple, Cleaner Interface.
  • Support 1000+ subscriptions.
  • Tagging of Feeds.
  • Support for various views like List view, Expanded view, Full view so on.
  • Automatic marking of items as read as they are scrolled past. This option really helps in marking posts as read the moment we scroll past them.
  • Sharing options with various social networking sites (Not so mandatory).
  • Free Service. 
  • Extra goodies

Alternatives I am gonna try

1. Feedly
Quite popular among the alternatives I decided to start with Feedly. Feedly already started to face huge traffic from users migrating from Google Reader as they promise to provide seamless migration for Google Reader users. Just signup with your google account and all your feeds are imported automatically.

Important Tips for users migrating from Google Reader to Feedly is shared in their Blog Link. These tips are really helpful.Even though initial look is clumsy we can customize it in preferences tab making it look simple and cleaner as shown below.


Pros:
  • Simple, Cleaner Interface
  • Transition from Google Reader is very simple.
  • Meets all my requirements mentioned above.
  • Web Based RSS reader and even supports apps for various platforms.
  • Support cleaner background themes option.
  • Save option is really helpful  to check the old and interesting articles later.
Cons:
  • None currently.

I would highly recommend this service for google readers as you gonna feel back home.I would call Feedly as Google Reader on steroids.

Eventhough I am very happy with Feedly I decided to try other popular services available.

2. Bloglovin


A simple signup procedure which accepts your Facebook account or Email sign-up. Once sign-up is done it asks for importing feeds from Google reader making transition from Google Reader very simple.


Pros:
  • Simple, Cleaner interface.
  • Transition from Google Reader is very simple.
  • Creates personal profile.

Cons:
  • Only supports magazine view.
  • No support for automatic marking of items as read as they are scrolled past.
  • No Tagging option.
  • Very basic sorting option.

3. Netvibes


Netvibes is a personalized dashboard publishing platform like iGoogle. It provides simple signup procedure which accepts your Facebook account or Email sign-up. Once signed-in initial feel is just like iGoogle service with its widgets look of various sites.


Steps for importing feeds from Google Reader to netvibes is shared in their blog link.


Pros:
  • Simple, Cleaner Interface.
  • Support various options like iGoogle service.

Cons:
  • Its a dashboard publishing service. I just need a RSS reader.
  • Free edition doesn't support automatic marking of items as read as they are scrolled past.
  • Premium Services at whopping 499$/month. Are you kidding me lol.

4. Feedspot


After simple signup procedure users are provided with a link to transition feeds from Google Reader.


Pros:
  • Simple, Cleaner interface.
  • Easy transition of feeds from Google Reader.

Cons:
  • Doesn't support automatic marking of items as read as they are scrolled past.

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