June 28, 2013

Goodbye Google Reader, hello ... ?

When it was announced a few months ago that Google was doing away with Google Reader as of July 1 (that's Monday!), I'll admit, I had a bit of a panic moment. To whom would I turn to keep my blogs organized? To whom would I turn to to keep all of the blogs I read in one place? HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME, GOOGLE?!

The Internet had a bit of a panic moment as well. For days, my Twitter feed was filled with cries of anguish over the RSS feed reader's demise. Since the intital announcement, however, I think we've all come to terms and moved on. I know I have—and it turns out that the announcement was a good kick in the pants for cleaning up my cluttered blog roll and starting fresh. (That 1000+ unread count made it awfully hard to know where to start some days.)

When I went looking for something to replace Google Reader, I knew that I wanted something very similar. Clean lines, the ability to organize blogs into user-created folders/lists, preferences that included starting to read new posts from oldest to newest, etc. Ideally, I also wanted something that synced through the cloud and had a mobile version, so that everything was connected and updated at the same time.

After doing a bit of research, I decided to go with Feedly. In look and use, it's very similar to Google Reader, and it has a really nice companion iPhone app.

A particular feature to the application that I like is the Mini Toolbar, an unobtrusive toolbar that sits at the bottom right corner of a browser window and allows users to save posts for later, add blogs to their lists, and email or share links via social media. (This feature is currently undergoing updates and therefore isn't working, but I can survive without it for a bit.)

Here's a screenshot of the desktop app:

And a couple of screengrabs of the iPhone app:

Bloglovin' is another reader I considered using, but it's just not as clean or user-friendly as Feedly. The one feature that made me really consider it, however, is the fact that the service uses a frame system. When reading posts, you're "taken" to the actual post page, and the blogger's page views will count it as a visit. I don't believe that reading a blog through Feedly has the same effect.

You can subscribe to C&CC via Feedly here and Bloglovin' here. (There are also a bunch of other ways to follow/subscribe using those fancy icons in the right sidebar underneath my photo if you've chosen to go a different route.)

Not sure how to start the switch process? This Lifehacker post does a great job at explaining the steps you need to take to transfer your RSS feeds and offers alternatives to the two readers I mentioned above.

Have you made the switch? If so, what service did you move to? If not ... you better do it soon!

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