Thank you, Google Reader, for shutting down on July 1st. It is because of your shutdown that I now use an RSS reader. Yes, it is true. Your demise has exposed me to the world of RSS.
The RSS world was thrown into a frenzy on March 13, 2013 at 4:06 PM after Alan Green, Software Engineer for Google, stated on the Official Google Reader Blog that “we will soon retired Google Reader.” This immediate outcry from Reader fan-base ranged from the passionate to some who may not have cared. I would be in the “not care” category only because I never took the time to find out what a RSS reader could accomplish.
The following is Alan Green’s post and is taken from the blog mentioned in the previous paragraph:
We have just announced on the Official Google Blog that we will soon retire Google Reader (the actual date is July 1, 2013). 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.
To ensure a smooth transition, we’re providing a three-month sunset period so you have sufficient time to find an alternative feed-reading solution. If you want to retain your Reader data, including subscriptions, you can do so through Google Takeout.
Thank you again for using Reader as your RSS platform.
Let me clarify before we continue. I’ve known of RSS but never took invested the time to learn how to effectively use them. I had a Google Reader account but didn’t care too much for the interface. My entry into the world of blogging signaled an increase in the quantity of blogs I read daily and the natural evolution of the increase was accompanied by the need of a service to centralize all those feeds.
RSS was needed but the most favored, it seemed, of all readers was shutting down. This would seem like the worst of times to begin using a reader but, in fact, it was the opposite. The void that would be left by Google Reader’s departure began quickly filling with replacements even before the shutdown actually occurs.
This need is how I discovered Feedly.
Feedly is, by all accounts, heir apparent to Google Reader on social media. I’ve used Feedly for about a month and the service is amazingly efficient, easy to use and an excellent way to collect stories from a variety of sources. I recommend Feedly if you are new to RSS readers or looking for a replacement.
I use Hootsuite as a social media dashboard and it serves as a key tool in my social media system. It is user-friendly and, other than a wish for an update to the overall UI, I am very happy with it. The new Hootsuite Syndicator would most likely be best suited for someone who only uses Hootsuite and does not use other services in conjunction with it. Please note that I’ve not had the opportunity to use it myself and the above statement is based on assumption.
There are other alternatives and some of those are:
The choice not to use an RSS reader after today.
The Old Reader
Digg Reader (I tried it and found it to be similar to Feedly but with fewer options.)