Google Reader shut down today, to mixed reactions from: “Finally!” to “Now to see what this alternative is like,” to “It’s 1st July already??”
Thankfully, I was one of the middle batch. When Google first announced they would be closing their feed reader, I thought it was going to be the end of the world. Then for a couple of days I didn’t read any feeds at all, and figured that actually I could probably get on with my internet life quite well without them.
After a week of going through all those stages of denial and grief and all of that, I ended up with the compromise – using Feedly. Many others did the same, hundreds of thousands of Google “refugees” logged on and signed up to use Feedly. Previously, they were just a front for Google Reader’s mechanism, needing a Google login before you could access anything inside. For me, their promise that there would be a seamless transition to whatever they came up with next was what made me sign up – whether their reader was any good, at least I would have a continuous feed reading service to tide me over.
I had thought Google were hitting the off switch at the end of June, so was confused when nothing happened on Feedly’s end. One month on, and they did, finally, make the transition, and it was, as promised, entirely seamless.
I’ve always had a bit of a binging relationship with RSS feeds, catching up in one big hit then letting the news/posts pile up again until I find another block of time to trawl through them. I’ve found that Feedly’s layout and usability encourages me to keep up to date, although I let it fall by the wayside again last month, and find myself a week or two behind again.
It has the magazine style, if that’s your preferred reading option, but I switched it to be more of a list – there are plenty of settings and options to help you along your way. Adding new feeds is reasonably easy, and there are also suggestions of other feeds in different categories that you might find interesting.
I’m hoping that I can get myself up together and stay on top of it, using the Feedly apps all across my devices. I haven’t got on board with the Chrome web app, it was a bit of a pain to use, but my iDevice versions are very nice to use and easy to read. From concern over the disappearance of RSS from my life completely, I feel like I’ve found an even better way to keep up to date. So, thanks Google, I guess.