On Thursday of last week, at precisely 12:25 in the afternoon, an email arrived in my inbox that has caused me great angst and lamentation ever since.
My good friend Keith emailed to ask if I was going to write a blog post on alternatives to Google Reader.
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
What? Alternatives to Google Reader? Why would anyone want an alternative to Google Reader?
Then I read the next phrase: “since it’s going away on July 1.” Oh no, this can’t be… it’s “going away” on July 1? Where is it going? Can I go there too?
Unfortunately a quick trip to the blogosphere confirmed my worst suspicions– Google (whose corporate motto is “Don’t be evil”) had announced they will euthanize Google Reader on the first day of July.
I could hardly believe it… my long loved friend was going to be sacrificed on the alter of corporate efficiency. It was such a shocking revelation that I almost bust into tears.
Ok Scott, get a hold of yourself. You’re getting emotional over a computer program– a very long series of zeros and ones– no one should get emotional over such things.
Love At First Sight
Thankfully there are dozens of alternatives for Google Reader. However, I’m not going to list them here or talk about the pros and cons of each. Ironically, you can simply google “google reader alternatives” to identify and explore dozens of options– and in the process waist a whole lot of time.
Rather, I would like to introduce you to my new ‘friend’– Feedly. And discuss why you too should form a long term relationship with this collection of zeros and ones.
- Super Easy Migration From Reader – After setting up your account on Feedly there is a one click option to import all of your feeds and activity from Google Reader. Simply click the link, then as prompted give Feedly permission to access your Google Reader account. All of your feeds, starred items, etc. will be quickly imported by Feedly. That’s it, you’re set to go. Digital divorce should not be this easy– but that’s another topic for another time.
- Minimalist Browser Interface – I’m a bit a visual design snob. I hate digital debris clogging up my browser’s screen. Feedly cuts through all of the clutter that other news aggregators can’t seem to get rid of.
- Powerful & Featured Packed – Never confuse a minimalist interface for a lack of powerful features. After spending some time with Feedly, it became obvious that Feedly has all of the same powerful features of Google Reader that I used daily. A truly great integrated web based app will have just the right combination of features, speed, with an unobtrusive yet intuitive interface. Feedly gets it right.
- Seamless Cross Platform Syncing – As you would expect with any cross platform news aggregator, if you mark an item as read using your Android device it will also be marked as read on all of your other devices as well.
Those are just a few of the reason why I live Feedly, and why I think you should give it try. Who knows, maybe you will be writing your Dear John letter to Google Reader too.