Alternatives to Google Reader

I know I am a bit late with the news that Google is killing Google Reader.  I know lots of people who are upset about this.  For me the sky started falling back when Bloglines died.  Back then I migrated all of my feeds to Netvibes.  I could have gone the Google Reader route, but I just didn’t quite like Reader as much as Netvibes.  So while my feeds were both in Reader and Netvibes, I used Netvibes more.

For all of you Readers, you are probably wondering what you are going to do with your feeds.  First, let me tell you this is a really good time to evaluate and weed your feeds.  You also might want to evaluate if you still need a reader.  I have noticed that I have been using my reader less and less.  I don’t know if it is because of my personal and professional life changes and time constraints have made reading my feeds more difficult or if it is because I am getting my more of my news from Twitter.  I have noticed with my adoption of TweetDeck (and Hootsuite iPhone) for monitoring tweets, my reader use has dropped.  I have debated about dropping my feeds altogether.  But old habits die hard.

So if you still need a reader then you might want to check out a few of these sites to see if they suit you.

Netvibes – It has a free and premium version. Free is all you need and has plenty of features  Has very good social media integration.  Makes tweeting or facebooking  blog posts and other feed items very easy.  I still recommend using  TweetDeck or Hootsuite for monitoring Twitter overall.  It doesn’t have an app, but is mobile optimized but that has limited features.  Perhaps that is why I don’t use it as much.  As my husband will tell you, if it isn’t on my phone, it isn’t on my mind. 

The Old Reader - Is free.  Is designed to look and feel like old Google Reader, so if you liked that style, it  might be the perfect option for you. You can also follow other Old Reader users and share with them, similar to Google Reader.  They don’t have a mobile app but are supposedly working on one.  It is looks fine on a mobile device.

Feedly – Is free and has been around for quite a while.  Bad news for IE controlled institutions, Feedly doesn’t work with IE. It only works with Firefox and Chrome. It also requires you to install a plug in and if you have a locked down computer, it won’t work for you.  It too is a social media tool that easily lets you share things with your social network friends.  There are several layouts that are available for you to choose from.  They have the straight top to bottom feed style , full articles, or the Flipboard style.  Easy to transfer feeds from Reader, in fact I signed in using my Google ID and everything migrated seamlessly.  Feedly does have an app for iOS and Android. With demise of Reader there are quite a few upset people posting to the Feedly board about the lack of IE use.  There are many more people with companies that force IE use than just hospitals.

NewsBlur – Premium version costs $24/yr.  They have a free version but it caps the number of blogs, stories and public sharing options.  The blog and stories cap is the deal killer for me.  It caps you at 64 blogs and 10 stories at a time. Additionally they have temporarily stopped free users from signing up. Ptthhbbb.  I normally wouldn’t even mention them (I didn’t link them) but since other sites are recommending them, I felt obligated to at least mention them with their fees and stopping free user registration. Stupid considering this the time to grab users leaving Reader. Once they find a reader they won’t magically switch unless forced to.  Very short sighted of them and makes me thing even less of them.

While I wasn’t using Reader, I also dialed back my Netvibes reading considerably.  So instead of worrying about my Reader feeds from Google, I am going to take this time to investigate whether I even need a reader anymore by investigating Feedly.  I am not a big fan of the Flipboard style of things but that is no big deal because I can use the plain ol’ reader style.  While I like Netvibes, clearly I evolved beyond it for some reason.  My guess is because it doesn’t have an app.  That is why I am giving Feedly a try.  I am going to see if having my feeds synced to an app on my phone increases my use of them.  I am lucky to be able to have Firefox on my computer, but I rarely use it since much of our hospital stuff is IE.  So the whole Feedly experiment will be interesting to me.

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