Did you hear the collective gasp across the internet last night? As blog readers around the internet settled in for the evening to read their blogs on Google Reader, they were informed that things were about to change. Google announced that it would be closing Google Reader as of July 1, 2013. What’s more, there seem to be few programs that can do the job that Google Reader currently does.
As I mentioned here, I rely heavily on Google Reader to manage the blogs that I read. I currently have over 1000 unread posts that I’m hoping to get to some day, as well as over 50 blogs that I check on a fairly regular basis. Moving all of that content to another, preferably free, provider seems like an enormous task.
A quick internet search last night provided few alternatives. Fortunately, this is the digital age, and a short 24 hours has already produced a plethora of articles about Google Reader Alternatives. The ones I’ve looked at so far are below. Click the name of the service to see their website.
Initially designed for fashion blogs, the interface for this service is particularly visual. Most of my favorite blogs, are on my favorites list because of the pictures. Show me a beautifully decorated room or entree that looks incredible and I’m instantly drawn in and ready to see more. So I like the idea of a blog reader that will make it easy to enjoy my favorite blogs. I worry about how hard it will be to transfer all of my content to Bloglovin. I’ve started Google Takeout, as Google suggested when they made their announcement, but importing that content into Bloglovin wasn’t particularly intuitive and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to figure it out. It seems like a promising option though. Some of the other bloggers I’ve talked with are excited about Bloglovin.
Update: Bloglovin quickly updated their service and they have made it almost as easy to upload blogs as with Feedly. All of my blogs were uploaded, but I did have to recreate my categories. I love seeing the blog post in the context of the original blog, but this did slow things down a bit. I tend to skim through blog posts and this was hard to do when I had to wait for each blog page to load. I still seem to be doing most of my reading on Feedly, but I haven’t totally given up on Bloglovin.
Feedly is a Chrome product that someone mentioned last night. It took me only seconds to import my list of blogs from Google Reader. Unfortunately, it was incredibly slow to import my content. I’m inclined to suspect that the site was over run with Google Reader refugees and that this will improve with time. Now that my content is there, it seems to be pretty similar to Google reader. I had to adjust the settings a bit to get it to feel right, but over all, I think I could get used to it.
The Old Reader
This service is at the top of a lot of Google Reader alternative lists. It’s supposed to be just like, “the old google reader.” It looks to be that way, but honestly I never got a chance to try it out. In contrast to Feedly, which automatically imported all of my content from Google Reader, The Old Reader wanted me to unzip and upload my Google Takeout files. That’s a lot of extra steps when Feedly does it all for me automatically and I’ve got other things I want to spend my time on.
I really want to like Bloglovin. Other bloggers I know speak highly of it, and I love the visual interface, but they’re going to have to make it a lot easier for me to import my content if they want me to do my reading over there. The Old Reader had the same issue as Bloglovin. Getting my reader content into it was not automatic and seamless like it was with Feedly. Feedly was just so very easy, and I’m all about easy. I’ll keep my eye on Bloglovin, but I’ll be doing most of my reading on Feedly for the time being.