Google Reader Shutting Down

I don’t like to reblog popular news online, but since I use Google Reader so heavily I have to put in my opinions.

Apple removed the RSS button from Safari long ago. Most of the other browsers have also, but with Firefox you can still put it back there, but by default its not there. RSS feeds are just too technical for the average web surfer to know how to use effectively. However, the technical users that do know their value, use the hell out of them. I have no doubt that Google Reader has helped many people become early adopters and consume the information-overload of the modern web.

Social Media is not a replacement for Feeds (RSS or Atom), sorry Twitter.

Magazine style feed aggregators with images are not a good replacement for Google Reader. The images slow you down on going through huge numbers of posts. Images are often used to grab your attention and may not reflect the quality or what the post is really about. You could say that about headlines as well, but its much easier to sift through tons of headlines than tons of images. The idea that being “visual friendly” with images is somehow a better way to go through feeds is total crap. Pretty is not a better user interface. It was called Google Reader for a reason, not Google Webshots.

So here are some online / cloud / internet / web alternatives. Because desktop solutions miss items if they are turned off and the feed goes past the amount the feed stores.

Update on some information for these alternatives

  • NetVibes – powers Bloglines, so both are a Feed Reader and a homepage with widgets. The user interface for both is the same. It’s missing the ability to show YouTube video player items like Google Reader did
  • NewsBlur – They have free accounts, but you are limited to a certain number of feeds, Otherwise it’s $2 or $3 a month
  • 1kpl.us – looks very good, although I’d prefer if the sidebar remained open. Going to a pay model – $5 a month.
  • Good Noows Newspaper like grid viewing of RSS feeds, they also have a list view. However, there is no way to go back to a read post
  • Collected – Get your own URL with a blog like listing of feeds
  • The Old Reader – requires Google or Facebook login, also is more about being social than reading posts
  • Skimr – Too simple for my use, but might be for you
  • Feedly’s Normandy project – still in development, but will work online without a need for an app
  • HiveMined – coming soon supposedly

Here is a list of aggregators that are NOT replacements, yet people think they are

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