Tag Archives: Google Reader

Reader is dead, Google points out alternatives

Google Reader
Google Reader

At the end of yesterday, July 1, the bell tolled for Google Reader. While it was a sad moment, many alternatives exist.Granted, most of us wish we did not have to move to them, but that is the grim future we must all face.

A brief visit to the web site displays a dire message that customers have been dreading for sometime — the search giant informs its loyal followers that “Google Reader has been discontinued. We want to thank all our loyal fans. We understand you may not agree with this decision, but we hope you’ll come to love these alternatives as much as you loved Reader”.

The company then goes on to link to alternative services. Feedly tops the list, though The Old Reader, Newsblur and many other make the list of approved apps. Some, such as Flipboard and Feed Demon are listed, but failed so far to get the Google Seal of Approval.

Google also attempts to avoid confrontation by posting the answers to questions it anticipates will be asked:


1. What will happen to my Google Reader data?
All Google Reader subscription data (eg. lists of people that you follow, items you have starred, notes you have created, etc.) will be systematically deleted from Google servers. You can download a copy of your Google Reader data via Google Takeout until 12PM PST July 15, 2013.
2. Will there be any way to retrieve my subscription data from Google in the future?
No — all subscription data will be permanently, and irrevocably deleted. Google will not be able to recover any Google Reader subscription data for any user after July 15, 2013.
3. Why was Google Reader discontinued?
Please refer to our blog post for more information.
It seemed to me unlikely that Google would go through with cutting this cord, given the internet-wide outcry, but Reader is gone and users have little choice but to grab their data now

Google Reader shutdown decision now threatens human rights

rss logoWhile GNC doesn’t get political — in fact we avoid it as if it were toxic — sometimes a subject in the political arena touches the tech world. While we have all been fixated recently on the Google Reader shutdown and what it means to us as writers about tech, who use this tool to follow the latest news, and you the readers who use it to follow us, there is larger and much more ominous part to all of this.

That part was revealed today as we learned just how detrimental this shutdown is — not just to us in our cozy homes, but to those living under the thumb of totalitarian regimes that systematically block large portions of internet traffic.

Today Zachary M Seward reports that the Google decision has been taken especially hard by the citizens of Iran who used the RSS service to get around the country-wide firewall that trapped them from outside news. “The real tragedy is likely to be felt in countries like Iran, where Google Reader is used to evade government censorship”, Seward wrote. He continues “many RSS readers, including Google’s, serve as anti-censorship tools for people living under oppressive regimes”.

In order to stop citizens from accessing Google Reader, the country would have to undertake a rather large amount of work, as it is difficult to block the entire Mountain View-based company and all of its services.

There is potential good news here — “Google also hasn’t said what it might do with the Google Feed API, which is a service for programmers to access RSS feeds, usually for display on other websites. If it sticks around, the Google Feed API would potentially allow someone to build a service that replicates some of Google Reader’s core features and still rely on Google’s domain to do it” Seward explained.

For now Google has said nothing more about its decision, despite the growing outcry and the number of people signing online petitions to stop this shutdown from happening. Perhaps the plight of the Iranian citizens can warm their cold heart.

FeedWizard: RSS Without Google Reader

FeedWizardThe internet is freaking out today after hearing the news that Google has decided to kill off the extremely popular Google Reader. The reaction is understandable. Many of us rely on Google Reader as an quick way to keep up to date with the news and to easily discover when the blogs we follow have updated with new content. There are a lot of people right now who are scrambling to find a replacement for Google Reader before it disappears, forever.

Google mentioned the impending demise of Google Reader in their blog today. I’m not certain that their explanation for the reasoning behind doing away with the popular feature will be accepted by everyone. They said:

We launched Google Reader in 2005 in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favorite websites. While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined. So, on July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader. Users and developers interested in RSS alternatives can export their data, including their subscriptions, with Google Takeout over the course of the next four months.

In any case, we are all going to have to find an alternative RSS aggregator soon. As for me, I have decided to use an app called FeedWizard (which I found in the iTunes app store). FeedWizard is made by a company called Wunderkopf. It does not connect with, or require, Google Reader in order to function.

The app costs $0.99 to download, which is a nice price. It requires OS X 10.7 or later. I took a few minutes to manually load a few of the RSS feed that I had subscribed to through Google Reader into FeedWizard to make sure it worked. Everything was running smoothly, so I did as Google suggested and used Google Takeout to export my RSS subscriptions into FeedWizard. Simple!

FeedWizard does not have the ability to sync across platforms, and I realize that may be “deal breaker” for some users. Personally, though, I work from home and don’t have a need to check out the RSS feeds I’ve subscribed to unless I am sitting in front of my home computer, so this is not a problem for me.

GNC #681 Seven Years of Tracking Web Behavior

Geek News Central PodcastIn Washington D.C. this week was a quick turn around at home.. One thing that I have found the farther east I go the crappier the internet is in hotels just a observation but everytime i’m east the internet sucks in the hotels.

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D7 Is a Better Google Reader for Android

Google Reader has been the second most used app on my phone, behind only Twitter.  It works well, especially since the last update which fixed a major annoyance – when going back to the feed list it no longer takes you back to the top of the list.  But, recently I found an even better alternative – D7 Google Reader.

The moment you open D7 you will notice the difference.  It’s less stark.  The beautifully graphic interface is welcoming.  It immediately feels more usable.  There are friendly icons to lead you to wherever you want to begin – Reading List, Subscriptions, Starred, Shared, Recommended, and Read Items.  It’s a sharp contrast to Google’s own Reader app.

D7 Google Reader
Google Reader



















When you click on a feed you will notice another difference.  You will get more than just headlines, you will see the first two lines of each article.  That may not be a big deal, but it’s a nice touch.

D7 Google Reader article display

The menu button allows you to do a number of things including Share, but the Share option, unfortunately does not include email.  Preferences lets you choose from a number of customization options such as changing the Theme and various ways to display subscriptions and articles.  It also allows you to follow people and add subscriptions.

There are both free and paid versions of D7 Google Reader.  The free version is ad-supported and the paid version retails for a whopping $1.57.

Sharing Your Google Reader Finds

While Google Buzz made quite a, ah…sensation, when it debuted, it seems to have become rather overshadowed now.  Other than the news this week of the settlement they have reached there’s been no real, well, buzz around it.  But strangely I have almost four times as many followers on there as I do on Twitter, and it goes up daily.  And all of my Buzz, like those of most people I follow, is forwarded from Twitter.

All of this got me thinking about a Google property that I use a lot – Reader.  One thing I like about Buzz is that when I am in Reader I can share cool articles I find to Buzz very easily.  When you click the “Share” button at the bottom of a Reader article it should automatically post to Buzz for all of your followers to see.  If it doesn’t then make sure it is set to Public by going into the left column and clicking “Your Stuff” and then “Shared Items”.  At the top make sure that “Your x shared items are” is set to Public.

You can also allow your shared items to post to your Twitter feed via Twitterfeed.  Just go to your Google Reader Shared Items page, copy the Atom feed and paste it into Twitterfeed. Then just authorize your Twitter account to sync them up.

Of course the easiest, but least high-profile way of sharing items from Google Reader is to simply click the good ol’ “Email” button at the bottom of an article and forward it along to whoever you think may be interested.

I am sure there are many other ways to share Google Reader content, but these are the simplest that I have found.

GNC-2010-10-18 #619 BlogWorld Recovery Show

I am still recovering from Vegas and BlogWorld. A lot was accomplished in the 5 days I was in Vegas. I share some of that along with a pile of tech news and information. Two shows from Texas and then back to Honolulu for two shows.

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