Thursday, March 14, 2013

Google Reader Blues

A friend and crit partner of mine, Jeannie Lin, has been saying for a while now that blogging is dead.  Given the sheer number of posts I see in my collection of RSS feeds, I’m not so sure I believe her. Except that today, I got a message from my beloved Google Reader that they are shutting the service down as of July.

I am, obviously, disappointed.  Google Reader has been the best choice for me for a long time for catching up on local news, Woot deals, friends and authors, new releases, etc. It syncs my topics between my android phone, my tablet, and multiple computers (my work laptop, my home laptop, the family desktop).  Boo to Google for taking it away.

I cannot visit every site directly--I have no time, no way to track so many shortcuts across so many different devices, and a lot of authors’s websites are marked as 18-and-over, which results in nastygrams at work (and probably an email to some IT guy who will then believe I am surfing porn sites).

So I’m in the market for a replacement tool for reading news, and I’d love to see some suggestions, or reviews. I’d especially love to hear about any services that work fine in multiple webbrowsers AND an Android phone AND a Kindle Fire all at the same time.

 Here are a few options I’ve found that I intend to check into:

Newsblur - - There is a monthly fee if you have too many subscriptions. This might be a problem for me…
Fever - - I’d have to self-host this on in addition to paying a $30 fee, but at least no one will take it away from me
Feedly - - Free and they might be able to automatically suck in my Google Reader subscriptions
The Old Reader -
Flipboard - - I had seen this “suggested” by Amazon for my Kindle, so I know that it would work there.
Tiny Tiny RSS - - Another self-hosted option
Google+ -  I have set up a profile. But unlike Facebook, there were no other people on so I’ve basically given up on the service. I don’t have any circles. It does have an Android app. I have no idea what it does for RSS, just several vague online mentions that Google may consider it to be a sufficient replacement for Reader.

P.S. Now that Google is taking away my blog READER, I’m a little concerned that it may also take away my blog WRITER. Surely not, as I add content and also run ads which should be generating them a little income. (Ok, my blog isn’t exactly bankrolling the company, but still…) The thought worries me enough that I may look into exporting my existing blogs and doing more with my own self-hosted Wordpress site over at

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