Google Reader to be put out to pasture

March 13, 2013 @ 6:51 pm | Filed under: ,

Can you see this post? I’m hearing that some folks can’t get my site to load. Has been a problem all day; we’re looking into it. I’m bumping the Ballet Shoes post yet another day until I’m sure the problem (whatever it is) has been resolved.

Meanwhile, noooooo! Google informs us Reader’s days are numbered. Those of us who rely on a good RSS aggregator to make the web manageable are crushed—there’s no better feed reader than Google Reader.

Some alternatives, none of them quite perfect (but I’m confident someone will rise to fill the void):

Feedly—this is probably what I’ll wind up using. Not quite as streamlined as Reader, but it offers many options for customizing the look and function. In “Full Articles” mode, it’s a decent Reader substitute:

Feedly screenshot


(I subscribe to way more book blogs than are visible in that list. I think it only shows the top twelve.)

If you click on the gear icon, you can toggle to different layouts: mosaic, list, magazine-style, etc.

You can export your subscriptions at Google Reader and import them to Feedly, or simply connect Feedly to your Reader account, which is what I did. For now Feedly runs off Reader’s API but it is going to “seamlessly transition” to another source before Reader bites the dust in July.

A Feedly plus is that it has mobile apps as well, with syncing between your desktop, iOS, and Android devices. And if you connect it to your gReader account, it’ll sync with that, too, as long as gReader lasts.

You can share posts from Feedly directly to Facebook, Twitter, G+, Delicious, and other platforms. Diigo isn’t one of the preset share options and I really hope you can add it manually—haven’t figured out how yet but it’s early days—because Diigo is how I share links in my sidebar here. I suppose I could switch back to Delicious if I have to.

Here’s Feedly in “magazine” view:



Other options: Bloglines (what I used before Google Reader came along). NewsBlur (after a certain number of subscriptions, there’s a fee). NetNewsWire for Mac. The Old Reader. Pulp (a paid app for Mac). Flipboard for iOS devices (no good for me, as I need a desktop interface).

What’s your poison?

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26 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Avatar

    Phoebe says:


  2. Avatar

    Phoebe says:

    Oh, and The Old Reader for me. For now.

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    Sandra says:

    Not sure what I’ll use. Think I’ll rely on tech savvy 15 yo ds for guidance. Sob, sob

  4. Avatar

    Lori B says:

    This just stinks, and I can’t understand the reason for it. I have a friend who works for Google, so I’m going to demand Answers!

  5. Avatar

    Nicole S says:

    So over my head. But I’m going to try Feedly too. Thanks.

  6. Avatar

    Joy says:

    I just noticed that today and I was hoping you had some other solutions. So glad you do. I’ll look into them… sometime… hopefully before Reader disappears.

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    sarah says:

    I have to say I am quickly falling in like with Feedly. It has a nice blog appearance, it is “quiet” (or at least it is with the colours I’ve chosen), and I appreciate the “in my feedly” sidebar. I’d like to have a list of my subscriptions always available to me, but that’s probably possible and I just haven’t worked it out yet.

    Thank you for airing this topic, it has been great to be able to discuss it as a community.

  8. Avatar

    Dianna says:

    I was gobsmacked yesterday when I opened up Reader and it said it was going away. Noooooo! It makes me rethink my dependence on Google, though—I use so many of their services, and seeing them take away something as basic as reader makes me wonder if other services I love like Blogger and Gmail are safe.

    Anyway, thanks for your recommendations on feed readers. I hadn’t got that far yet so I will check out your suggestions.

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    Lisa says:

    First they changed Reader, now they’re killing it. I thought Bloglines died, too? I used to Blog on it (maybe I’ve got the wrong name in mind). I think we’re all going to be forced to just tweet or Facebook posts and not blog……………(sigh).

  10. Avatar

    Melissa Wiley says:

    Lisa, no way, I’m a blogger to the finish. 🙂 When I speak to writers, I always urge them to make sure they’re archiving their own public writing (e.g. longer posts they’ve put on FB or G+, etc) on their own site somewhere. Same goes for people sharing family stories or personal reflections. The stream platforms don’t have good search options yet, and anyway, you can’t rely on their always being there. It’s hard to imagine Facebook fading away, but there was a time we said the same thing about MySpace!

  11. Avatar

    Laura says:

    Really annoying. I remember when there were, ever so briefly, free google websites. They discontinued them right after I finished creating a multi-page google site for our food co-op. I’m beginning to think google is a large faceless corporation and not my friend after all. But maybe, like packing up and moving forces us to reassess and de-clutter, this latest google betrayal will force me to hone down a bit on the epic list of sites on my reader.

    Hah. Only kidding. I may try to live simply (spending-wise) but I’m greedy as all hell when it comes to getting my hungry eyes on words. I’m giving a try.

  12. Avatar

    tanita says:

    Oh, yes, this was all the news at our house last night – shrieks of dismay, since we JUST got over not having Google’s “share” button.

    Maybe we can talk the people at Feedly into replacing that…

  13. Avatar

    Elena says:

    Melissa, you can use to have your saves on twitter or delicious go directly to diigo. I just did that today and it worked great!

  14. Avatar

    JoVE says:

    Thanks for alerting us. I love reading my feeds in Flipboard on the iPad but I get them there via Google Reader. Didn’t know you could do it directly.

  15. Avatar

    Karen Edmisten says:

    No, no, no! (Stomping feet, gnashing teeth….)

  16. Avatar

    Ellie says:

    Oh **phew** I can see your blog again! 🙂

    And, well, you know me: I am an old-fashioned girl — no reader-thingy-mabobs for me! I just click through to my favorite blogs to see if there are new posts 🙂

  17. Avatar

    Melissa Wiley says:

    HOORAY, Ellie, that is a huge relief to me. I wonder if that means the web tech folks found the problem, or did you just get lucky? I know they were running some tests earlier…

  18. Avatar

    Shannon G says:

    Hm. I went to install Feedly & it says it can access my data on all sites & access all my tabs & browsing data. That’s more accessing than I’m comfortable with!

  19. Avatar

    Andromeda Jazmon says:

    Oh no! I hate to have to lose GReader. It’s going to take some time for me to adjust and be ready to try something new. Thanks for the heads up and recommendation!

  20. Avatar

    Jen says:

    Right after clicking “okay” on the google reader notification that it’s going away, I went straight to you hoping for suggestions about what to do next. Thank you!

  21. Avatar

    rockinlibrarian says:

    Drat, was hoping more commenters would have had more suggestions by now. So far I like Feedly best, too, except you can’t use Feedly on the Nook, and I do at least half my blog reading on the Nook. There don’t seem to be many options there that aren’t full of their own garbage instead of my nice self-selected feeds. 🙁

  22. Avatar

    Sally says:

    I am greatly distressed by the news. Change does not come easy for me. I was delighted to find Google Reader and be able to keep up so easily with the blogs I follow. I’ve been reading about different alternatives most of the day. Thanks for your suggestion.

  23. Avatar

    Sally says:

    Thanks again. I changed over to Feedly. So easy. I was making it too hard. I’m so glad to have all my blog feeds and stared items still accessible.