Google Reader shuts down – where do we go now?
I keep track of about a hundred movie blogs. I know what they’re up to, day by day and I plunge into the posts that seem interesting. This doesn’t mean that I visit them all, and particularly not on a daily basis. In order to do that, I’d either have to quit my job or drop watching and writing about movies, dedicated all of my spare time to blog reading.
So how can I keep up with all those blogs? The answer until this day has been Google Reader, a service that collects all the blogs I follow into one feed that gives me a perfect overlook.
At a glance I can see all the headlines of today and if there’s one that interests me, it only takes a click to expand it to the full text. (In most cases. There are a few blogs that only gives away the first few lines and hide the rest behind a cut. But thankfully they’re in a minority.) I only get the essentials. I don’t need to put up with over decorated blogs that give me a headache just looking at them or annoying ads. It’s just the juicy and tasty content.
Being a blogger isn’t just to be a writer, it’s as much to be a reader and my participation in the blogosphere depends largely on the existence of a tool that helps me. I know there was a time before my discovery of Google Reader, when I used bookmarks and link lists to click my way around and pay regular visits to a number of blogs. But once I got used to using a feed, I couldn’t dream of going back to it. It’s just far too time consuming and inconvenient.
Google has now announced that they plan to shut down Google Reader within a few months.
This caused a major outcry on the internet. Apparently I was far from the only one to rely on it. Everywhere on Twitter you see angry comments, followed by the question: is there any alternative?
So far I’ve come up with the following:
This service is free. Registration was easy, but the interface is confusing and not intuitive. I tried to create an aggregated feed consisting of several subscriptions, but failed. I don’t think I’m going to use this unless someone talks me into it.
This service is free. It appears that you easily can convey your Google Reader account into the new reader. As far as I get it, it’s only available for certain platforms. If you use Firefox or Google Chrome, you can download a widget. I’m not sure how it works for other browsers.
This service has a basic level that is free and a premium level at 1$/month. It looks promising, but I haven’t been able to try it out. It seems as if the service isn’t dimensioned to receive the exodus from Google Reader. I’ll be back when things have cooled down a bit.
Suggested by the readers:
Not so efficient in its use of space, but probably a good option if you’re interested in images on blogs.
The Old Reader
This is another smal enterprise that now is overwhelmed by the sudden spike of new customers. I was quite charmed by a blog post where they shared their vision. It seems like the kind of people I’d love to support. I just hope it’s sustainable.
If you have a WordPress blog, there’s a built-in reader where you can follow all blogs, not only WordPress. You can import your Google Reader subscriptions. Since it includes not only the headline but a great part of the post in the feed, you don’t get the same quick overview as with Google Reader.
Now I’ve got a question for the tech-savvy people out there! How do you keep track of the blogs you follow? Is there any service you particularly would recommend to other Google Reader refugees?
Please let me know and I’ll update this post with your suggestions!
There must be another way than to go back to tedious one-by-one visiting of blogs.