And so this is it… Doomsday. The day Google Reader died. RSS fans, though often touted as a dying breed, had come to know and love this simple, straightforward newsreader. Word of its demise set the blogosphere abuzz earlier this year. Some users were broken-hearted. Others resigned to find a suitable replacement. And still some once again jumped on the “RSS is dead” bandwagon and pointed to the sunset of the search behemoth’s reader as further evidence, if not the final nail in the coffin. Suffice it to say that once iconic Google Reader will be missed.
Sure it lacked elegance. It didn’t pop. There were no bells and whistles. But Google Reader did what it did very well. It was intuitive and uncluttered. It got the job of aggregating those unuly newsfeeds done. Since its unveiling in 2005, Google Reader has been a favorite of millions of users. It was popular, for sure. So why did Google do it in? Well, there is a lot of speclulation right now. Some say it was a money drain on the company. Others say it failed to produce any kind of revenue. Some point to the rise of social media as its nemesis. We could share theories all day. The company itself claims that usage is down and that they are focusing on fewer products. Ok. But the real question today is more properly one of “what now?”.
As we said at our recent “60 Sites in 60 Minutes” presentation at the SLA annual conference in San Diego, reports of the death of RSS are both greatly exaggerated and woefully premature. In a world so rife with information overshare and overload, savvy users still see and harness tha value of RSS feeds and feed readers. We at iBraryGuy could not possibly keep up on the latest news without a carefully crafted and filtered aggregation of our sources and interests. Sure, we loved Google Reader and we are sad to say goodbye. But this is how the industry works folks…we are ready to move on.
To that end, we have chosen Feedly as our new RSS reader of choice. After looking at several great possibilities, we decided that Feedly was our best option for ease of use, dexterity, and mobility. From it’s cloud-based web home to its full-featured and visually stunning apps for iOS (iPhone, iPad) and Android, Feedly is where you want it, when you want it. The interface is clean and minimal, yet Feedly is fully and powerfully customizable. We recommend that new users check out the help materials to get started, as there is a lot that you can control. The sharing options are robust in this age of social media.
If you have not seen Feedly, check it out and let us know what you think. If there is a different solution that you prefer, please do feel free to share it in the comments. There are some great articles on alternatives to Google Reader on USA Today and the Washington Post, just to name a few.
Google Reader may be going away, but RSS is here to stay (OK, at least for now). So regardless of which alternative you choose, today is your last chance to get in there and downloard you feed data from the site. Most of the alternatives make the transition easy with the information. What is left to say really? So long old friend, it was good knowing and using ya!