Subscribed via Google Reader? Time to Find a New RSS Reader!

By Jennifer Bennett

Yesterday, Google announced that they will be shutting down Google Reader in July. If you are like me and many others, this came as quite a shock.  I have used Google Reader for my RSS feeds for several years and  have grown to love and depend on it for my RSS needs.  Based on our blog statistics, it appears that many of you are in the same boat. So what now?

Step One:  Find Yourself a New RSS Reader

After hearing the news last night, I spent a couple of hours researching and discussing RSS Reader alternatives with my geek friends and scouring Twitter and tech blogs for recommendations. It appears that there are a few that have taken the lead as acceptable replacements. Let’s take a look at some of the options:

Feedly appears to be a popular news reader, although a bit different than Google Reader. The interface is more  newspaper/magazine like and is customizable to meet your styling desires. Feedly integrates into your web browser via a browser extension and is available for numerous web browsers.  Additionally, you can sync your feeds between browsers and even Feedly’s mobile app.

NewsBlur has emerged as one of the top contenders in the reader world, and their site was overwhelmed with users frantically trying to snatch an account after Google’s announcement yesterday. The interface is similar to Google Reader although a bit more polished.  NewsBlur gives you the ability to sync your feeds across all of your computers and has an Android and iOS app that will sync your feeds as well.

The Old Reader is essentially a clone of the old Google Reader before the social aspects of it were removed at the end of 2011. It’s in beta and doesn’t have a mobile app at this time, but if you are averse to change this might be a good option.

Many of the popular RSS Reader sites have been swamped and overwhelmed with the influx of people looking to find a new solution for their reader needs, so you may have to be a bit patient and persistent to get a new account.

Step Two:  Import your Google Reader Feeds

Once you’ve decided on a new feed reader, you’ll want to import your Google Reader feeds so that you don’t have to re-subcribe to your favorite sites.  Luckily, Google will help you do this with Google Takeout which exports your Reader data into a file that can be used to easily migrate to another Reader.  The file includes information like feed data, people you follow, items you like, and more.  Unfortunately, not all of this information will be able to be imported into a new reader but it will import all of your subscriptions which is a good start and better than starting from scratch.

I’ll be testing out the readers mentioned above as well as some others to see what I like the best. I’m very interested to see what emerges as the new top reader, and to hear about our reader’s favorites. If you want to research other readers (there are tons!), ironically you can just Google “Google Reader Alternatives” and find a plethora of other bloggers and techies throwing out their options.