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Reflection

Google Reader will be dead, what is the alternative?

Today I open up my google reader and about to read my daily feed of book reviews and news, a dialogue box popped up and it says:

Google reader will be dead

It is like someone has dropped a bombshell on me. I rely on Google Reader to keep in touch with your book blogs, my dear blogger friends. I rely on Google Reader to provide me with a quick view of posts which are unread, without having to click on every single website.

And now this….

I google up and this is what the report on Guardian published:

Google announced on Wednesday it will be gradually start closing down its RSS reader service Google Reader. Writing on the official Google Reader blog software engineer Alan Green posted that Google Reader will be retired on 1 July 2013. He said:

“We know Reader has a devoted following who will be very sad to see it go. We’re sad too. There are two simple reasons for this: usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products. We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience.”

One of the most popular services for browsing multiple RSS feeds – many have turned to the web to express their sadness at the announcement. I feel the same too. I rely on Google Reader to get in touch with my favourite blogs and I am sad to see it go.

Does everything has to be about profit making? Is there no altruistic business model that could sustain, such as wikipedia? If there isn’t a better alternative feeder out there and Google Reader is the best in the market, how is it possible that the use of the Reader is in decline?

I thought about WordPress feed but even that is not loading quick enough. Here are some of the best alternatives to Google Reader:

  • Netvibes s a service has been around for about as long as Google Reader. Its basic service is free, and users can pay more for features like analytics, alerts and sentiment. Netvibes even has directions on how to import Reader information using Google Takeout.
  • Feedly  is a Google Chrome app that is also available on mobile devices. The service is free and also has instructions on how to transfer datafrom Google Reader.
  • Newsblur  is a straightforward RSS reader that has an easy button to add RSS feeds or to import data from Google Reader.

I have signed up to the free version of Netvibes and find it to be quite user friendly. It sort of quell my panic a little but it isn’t the same, is it? It is just too many bad news recently. The weather, work, library reservation charges, everything and now this. My spirit is dampened by this news. :(

What about you? Do you know about this? Do you use Google Reader to get in touch with the latest? How do you feel now that it is going to be closed down?

google reader RIP

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About JoV

A bookaholic that went out of control.... I eat, sleep and breathe books.

Discussion

47 thoughts on “Google Reader will be dead, what is the alternative?

  1. I haven’t actually used Google reader before, and in fact only heard of it today… I was always looking for a way to read all of the blogs I like in one place and have now discovered it too late. I use the wordpress reader all the time but it is only for wordpress sites which frustrates me sometimes. I’ll be trying out the alternatives you’ve suggested – thank you!

    Posted by Jennifer Wallace | March 14, 2013, 9:50 pm
  2. I just started using Feedly. I was so disappointed to hear the news yesterday!

    Posted by olduvai | March 14, 2013, 10:03 pm
    • Olduvai,
      Perhaps I should try all these I have recommended and see which one feels “good”. I don’t know how to delete a subscription from Netvibes! It shouldn’t be that hard right? :(

      Posted by JoV | March 14, 2013, 10:06 pm
    • Olduvai,
      Does Feedly request you to log into your google account? What’s the point then if it’s linked up to Google Reader? It only offers Feedly for Google Chrome. Am I looking at the right page? Thanks.

      Posted by JoV | March 14, 2013, 10:10 pm
  3. I’m definitely sad about the impending loss of Google Reader. I don’t understand why they can’t just let people continue to access it as it is, even if they don’t want to keep updating it.

    Posted by biblioglobal | March 14, 2013, 10:30 pm
  4. NetVibes is not updating in order for me which is driving me nuts. I am also testing Feedly which I am liking much better for its simplicity and layout.

    Posted by Ti | March 14, 2013, 10:39 pm
  5. I used to use a programme called Feedreader (http://www.feedreader.com/). It sat in your task bar and every time a new thing came up it became orange. I might install that again as I found it quite useful.

    Looks like they do an online version now too.

    Posted by Fiona | March 14, 2013, 10:46 pm
    • Fiona,
      Thanks for the suggestion. I tried some task bar feeder like Feeder.co, it is rather annoying as it shows only the headers without expanded view or previews of the blog posts, which then requires me to click every post to read them. Not as efficient but I would be interested to try the online version!

      Posted by JoV | March 14, 2013, 10:49 pm
  6. I have no idea what I will use instead of Google Reader. I haven’t yet come across anything as good and this is so upsetting.

    Posted by Athira | March 14, 2013, 11:01 pm
  7. I am sad too and upset, as I use google reader. But it is really about profit making and google is not in business of providing altruistic service, nor they ever promise to. All google engineers are full time fully paid employees. It’s hardly comparable to wikipedia as that is not a business – it’s user generated content, and it is indeed losing money constantly and therefore always asks for donation from users.

    Posted by mee | March 14, 2013, 11:48 pm
    • Mee,
      If that’s the case it will come a point where they will say lets shut down facebook or wordpress then, as they are not making any money. Especially WordPress. I am sure they have Engineers too, I wonder how they make their money? web hosting? Is web hosting enough to support millions of free loaders like us who use the site for free? What about apps that allow mobile phones to text and call overseas for free? Why would they do that? What is the motivation?

      As biblioglobal said, they can stop upgrading or develop the software for the Reader. Don’t invest any further if Google don’t want to, but I still don’t understand why it needs to be shut down.

      Posted by JoV | March 15, 2013, 12:41 am
      • WordPress does have premium features which it makes money from, also there are the advertisements placed on sites like yours and mine which are the freebie sites – they make money there too

        facebook make money by making you the product and and bundling people in groups to sell to advertisers /brands

        google makes money on many of its products but Reader is not one of them and so…they’re removing it from their range – unlike email which they do make money from (targeted adds in messages) – it’s frustrating but there’s no rule that says they have to be nice (though their mantra used to be “do no evil”). I suppose they couldn’t see a way to make Reader financially viable on its own

        Posted by bernadetteinoz | March 15, 2013, 2:54 am
  8. I have installed Feedly on my iPhone and iPad but am glad to hear it’s a Chrome app. I’ll get it onto my computer now to see what I think of it on the computer

    Posted by Helen Murdoch | March 15, 2013, 2:10 am
  9. Yes it is disappointing news – I use Google Reader for so much – book blogs, cooking/food blogs, technology blogs, other random blogs, work related stuff….and it’s so easy to use from anywhere I can easily catch up on a few blogs while on the bus or stuck in a waiting room or whatever.

    However it seems I must move on…I’m trying out NewsBlur as it seems to be closest to what I want (ability to categorise feeds, abiity to read and synchronise my account on the web, my iPad, phone etc) PLUS they charge for a premium account – it’s only $12US a year but I have come to believe that if you don’t pay for something (e.g. google reader, gmail) you have no recourse when things go wrong and also companies can just dump products willy nilly. I hope that by choosing a paid service I’ll have more luck in it staying around and responding to customer demands – I pay for most of my other services (never a lot but enough to keep the company ticking over) – now I just have to find an alternative to gmail :)

    Posted by bernadetteinoz | March 15, 2013, 2:49 am
    • Bernadette,
      It’s true that there will be no recourse if we don’t pay for service. It has been my experience that when I do pay for some service it was taken from me anyway. :( I think we are in a way at mercy with these digital companies. The perception that our stuff are saved or our interests will be served in the cloud may come as a false perception. Thanks for letting me know about some web companies’ money making strategies!

      Posted by JoV | March 16, 2013, 11:54 am
      • Your story of the photo service that you paid a lot for and it went away anyway is a sobering on Jo – so clearly I can’t rely on the free market in the way that Americans always claim we can :) I don’t use an online photo service much but over the past couple of years I have become totally reliant upon Evernote – I use it for everything from tax receipts to recipes to my various wishlists to house plans…I do pay an annual fee of around $50AUS but I guess that doesn’t prevent it from disappearing with my digital brain. I’ll have to think about a way to back it up somewhere local (although the reason I use it is precisely because I don’t want to have to store it all on my crappy laptop and I want it available wherever I am)

        Posted by bernadetteinoz | March 17, 2013, 5:49 am
        • Bernadette,
          Lets pray that whatever you paid for keep their business going. That way your data will be safe in the cloud. I still have more faith in my portable hard drive than the cloud though. lol. I will check out evernote! :)

          Posted by JoV | March 17, 2013, 10:34 am
  10. I’m sorry to hear that Google Reader is to go, I know how much you rely on it. I hope you will able to find an alternative. I don’t use RSS feed instead I just have notifications sent to me via email so fortunately won’t be affected by this.

    Posted by jessicabookworm | March 15, 2013, 9:48 am
  11. There’s Bloglovin that you could explore too…may not be as friendly as Google Reader but hope you will learn to like it. :)http://www.bloglovin.com/en/blog/3487901/the-world-of-ai-hienrichs/follow

    Posted by aihienrichs | March 15, 2013, 3:07 pm
  12. I am very upset over this-i follow lots of book and other sort of blogs via Google readers and have used it daily for years. I have looked at the alternatives and they all seek week substitutes. I hope something will emerge-without it most book bloggers will lose their followers.

    Posted by Mel u | March 15, 2013, 3:47 pm
    • Mel,
      I agree Mel. They are all a weaker substitute than Google Reader. My first thought was just that: a lot of book bloggers may lose their followers, if there are not easier way or more efficient way to follow blogs, it may be a case of giving up.

      Posted by JoV | March 16, 2013, 12:02 pm
  13. Thank you for the alternatives! I was a little panicked, at first. I usually subscribe to blogs by email (really bad choice if you can’t check your email for more than 3 days and when you do your inbox is flooded, but usually it’s a good choice). I’m wondering though about this supposed decline of Google Reader. It’s sad really, that they’re closing it. I hope they’ll offer something in return.

    Posted by Ruby | March 15, 2013, 11:45 pm
    • Ruby,
      I was hoping to share the alternatives and also personally try each one of them until something close to good becomes my daily routine. I don’t want my inbox to be flooded too. I look forward to hear what you think about the alternatives!

      Posted by JoV | March 16, 2013, 12:04 pm
      • I’m trying Netvibes. So far so goo. I would love a reader that would let me categorize the blogs I’m following, but I guess maybe I’m being too picky :P
        Yeah, my inbox gets pretty crowded because of the email subscriptions.

        Posted by Ruby | March 17, 2013, 2:16 pm
  14. Oh thank you! I have been using Feedly on my phone to check my google reader, so I’m glad to see that I can use that as a stand alone thing!

    Posted by Max | March 17, 2013, 12:28 pm
  15. Ugh, I am heartbroken about this. I know it’ll probably end up being a good change and I won’t be able to remember what I saw in Google Reader in the first place when [insert name of replacement feedreader here] is so much better; but at the moment I just feel super bummed out.

    Posted by Jenny | March 17, 2013, 10:14 pm
  16. Reader is definitely my number one way of keeping in touch with other book blogs. I have countless subsriptions and it’s particularly useful on my tablet. I’ll have a look at the options you list. I suppose RSS is going the same way as newsgroups which were so popular about 15 years ago.

    Posted by acommonreaderuk | March 21, 2013, 7:49 am
    • acommonreaderuk,
      The Google Reader link has disappeared from the most used Google apps on my inbox, confirming the phasing out of the product. Bloglovin seems to be another one which is quite good too. I am signed up to a few and will see which I prefer and make it part of my daily routine.

      Posted by JoV | March 21, 2013, 9:17 am
  17. Thanks for the suggestions, Jo. As it’s Bloggiesta this weekend I’ve made it my task to choose a new reader, and I went with Feedly. I think it’s a little flashy (GR is very simple) but that is probably OK.

    Hope you find one you like.

    Posted by Leeswammes | March 24, 2013, 3:08 pm
  18. Hi. I use Google Currents. It can imports all the feeds from Google Reader. In fact, I am reading your site via Google Currents now. It is beautiful. Like a magazine. The down side is that there is no Web version yet.

    Posted by Wilfrid Wong | March 25, 2013, 2:55 am
  19. I m waiting to see what people say after they have changed still a couple of months ,I m gutted myself ,all the best stu

    Posted by winstonsdad | March 27, 2013, 5:29 pm
  20. I have looked at several alternatives to Google Reader and I do not really like any of them that much. I have a Flipboard account, for tablets and smart phones, and I can read my google reader feeds there but,I think once reader goes down this will be lost. I have spent years following blogs with google reader and I will also regret losing my followers as I know many people, like me, have relied on google reader to bring them updates and do not really know the names or URL of many of the blogs they follow.

    Posted by Mel u | June 16, 2013, 1:21 am
    • Mel,
      Me too. I can’t use to any of them and I am still using Google reader for my feed. I am not sure what I’ll do once Google reader is shut down. All I can advise is export your favourites and feeds that can be exported to another feeder. Best of luck.

      Posted by JoV | June 16, 2013, 9:42 am

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Ratings Defined

0 = Abandon the book after first chapter

1 = Waste of paper, we will see what the environmentalist say about this!

2 = Skip it, read the book if you have got nothing better to do

2.5 = An average book, easily forgettable.

3 = A good read.

3.5 = A good entertaining read, a page-turner

4 = So glad that I read the book, a book with substance and invaluable for future reference

4.5 = So glad that I read the book, would pester everyone to read it, invaluable, I would want to own it and wouldn't mind a second read (something that I seldom do)

5 = The book is so good that I feel like I am on scale 4 and 4.5, and more, it blew me away and lingers on my head for weeks!

Books Read

JoV's bookshelf: read
Hold Tight
The Fault in Our Stars
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
The Thief
Mockingjay
Catching Fire
A Tale for the Time Being
Into the Darkest Corner
The Liars' Gospel
Goat Mountain
Strange Weather In Tokyo
Strange Shores
And the Mountains Echoed
Ten White Geese
One Step Too Far
The Innocents
The General: The ordinary man who became one of the bravest prisoners in Guantanamo
White Dog Fell from the Sky
A Virtual Love
The Fall of the Stone City


JoV's favorite books »
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old-books

Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

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