How to keep up with news in a post Google Reader era

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Google Reader, Google's RSS feed reader and aggregator, will be shutting down on July 1, 2013, leaving its moderately large fanbase in the dark. What Google Reader did is allowed you to subscribe to RSS feeds from your favorite sites, and read them all in one place. You could use this for news, webcomics, or any other site that offered an RSS feed. With Google Reader gone, (former) users are looking for alternative ways to aggregate your favorite news sources into an easy to read stream.

One of the reasons Google Reader is shutting down is because many users have stopped using RSS entirely. Using RSS feeds made sure that you saw every article from whichever feeds you subscribed to. People are no longer so set on seeing every post from every source. They are becoming more used to dipping into the pool of news every once in awhile, looking for something interesting. Flipboard is a free service that can be used to browse news and interesting articles. Flipboard offers both iOS and Android apps, and allows you to flip through news and other articles in a beautifully laid-out, magazine-like fashion. With Flipboard you can add categories, such as tech, sports, travel, or just plain news. You can also add accounts, so the stories shared by people you follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ will be available there as well. Even if you prefer the Google Reader way of making sure you see every post from every source you follow, Flipboard is a nice way to dip in every once in awhile and find something you may not have seen otherwise.

If you do like the Google Reader approach, there are several alternatives that are purely RSS readers. One of the most popular is Feedly. Feedly originated as an RSS reader that used Google Reader as the back-end  . It offered a faster, prettier design, while offering the same functionality as Google Reader. Since the announcement of Google Reader shutting down, the folks at Feedly have been working on moving over to their own back-end. Now, Feedly is a service that can run completely independent of Google Reader, although you still need a Google account to sign-in. Feedly has a universal web app that can be found at cloud.feedly.com, as well as apps for iOS and Android. Feedly is free to use, as are the apps.

Both Flipboard and Feedly integrate with a service called Pocket, which allows you to save articles to read later. Pocket is also a great free service, and offers Android and iOS apps.

So, although we'll all miss Google Reader, at least we have some great alternatives that will make catching up on the news easier than ever.

11 comments:

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