On March 13, 2013, Google announced that they would be shutting down Google Reader on July 1st. When I first got the news, I was shocked. In fact, I thought my boss was playing a trick on me. You see, I am something of an information junkie. On an average day I go through 250 to 400 posts. In fact, to get to Google Reader all I had to do was type the letter “G” in to my address bar and hit enter.
The next day, I began my search for my replacement service. Because I would no longer have a multinational corporation covering the cost of my news reading addiction, I was prepared to have to spend some money for a replacement.
The first solution I tried was Feedly. My feeds imported without any issues and it seemed to be a pretty okay option. After a few days, it felt like something was missing. I was not getting through my news stories as well as I was on Google. I needed something that was designed more for the power user.
It was at this point that I tried NewsBlur. Well, actually, I had to wait a few days before trying it as he had to temporarily shut off new accounts due to the number of Google Reader refugees signing up for free accounts. Anyways, I decided to start with a Premium Account since the entire website is managed by a single person. My first impressions of NewsBlur was that it looked a little rough around the edges, but I was able to move through my news stories at the same speed as Google Reader. It appeared that I found my power user reader application.
This did not mean that things were perfect. I found that my news stories were not being marked read. Also, the Android app was less than awesome. These problems were annoying, but I was trying to be understanding with the developer. I was glad that my understanding was not taken for granted. These problems were slowly, but surely were fixed. Now I have very few problems.
One nice feature of NewsBlur is that not just a website, but also a backend service with an API. This allows me to use different applications if I want to. I tend to just use the official website and mobile application, but it is nice to have options. Today I decided to use download and use ReadKit on my Mac.
Since the announcement, it seems that just about every company is trying to create a service to accept all the displaced Google Reader users. It seems that the use of RSS is not as dead as Google believes. In fact, I believe Google could have just started charging for Reader and most of us would have happily given then $25 a year. With what they did, it really appears that Google is leaving money on the table.
What solution are you using for a Google Reader replacement?