If you’re fan like me, you probably balked at the March 13th announcement that the Google Reader story is ending in mere months. Attributing the decision to a declining following and the need to focus on fewer products, Google will officially close the books on the 8-year-old service on July 1, 2013. That means we have about 3 months to pick ourselves up and find us a new feed. A feed that truly understands us and knows what we need. Are you with me? Good! Grab a container of chocolate frosting, crank up Celine Dion’s “All By Myself” and let’s check out a few Google Reader alternatives that might be the perfect match for you.
Talk about a rebound! More than half a million Google Reader users hooked up with Feedly within 48 hours of the discontinuation announcement. Released by DevHD in 2008, Feedly is compatible with a slew of web browsers and both iOS and Android mobile platforms. Feedly makes it super simple to import your current Google Reader subscriptions so that you don’t miss a beat. Lovers of Google Reader’s simplicity and predictability might need to warm up to Feedly’s magazine-like interface, but I’m liking the ability to see top “articles” from my various subscriptions on my home page. Feedly also suggests other RSS feeds to add based on the content I’m interested in.
NetVibes is a snazzy, albeit overwhelming, personalized dashboard publishing platform that utilizes widgets to help you manage your feeds and social networks, monitor topics, run Google analytics, organize tasks and a whole lot more. In fact, the amount of widgets you can add to your dashboard seems infinite as the widget list is open to third party developers. Note that basic functions of the platform are free but adding widgets can also add cost. If you want to take things slow, I recommend going with a basic (free) personal account and switching it from “widgets” mode to “reader” mode. This actually gives you an interface that feels familiar to the Google Reader experience.
NewsBlur is an open source personal news reader with a clean interface that shows a list of posts rather than the magazine-like format of Feedly. Again, users can easily transfer your current Google Reader subscriptions when you sign up. One of the most interesting features of NewsBlur is that it “learns.”The reader hides stories you aren’t interested in based on tags, keywords, authors, etc., and highlights the stories you are interested in using the same criteria. NewsBlur also has a social component, allowing users to share news stories through their Blurblog and find other stories of interest by following their friends’ Blurblogs. Unlike Google Reader, NewsBlur is not free but the price is not very steep—members can join NewsBlur for $24 a year.
Don’t despair! These are only a few of the Google Reader alternatives out there. If you’ve already made the switch, let us know what you recommend in the comments!