Monday, May 20, 2013

Urgent: Please Suggest Google Reader Alternatives

Now that Google Reader is shutting down in a few weeks, what will people use to follow their favorite blogs? I follow many blogs so I can keep up with what's going on in the Catholic-Protestant blogosphere, but now that Google Reader is leaving that leaves me and many others in a difficult position.

When searching this question, most of the big name techie websites are saying Feedly is the best choice for an alternative. Since Google made the announcement, a few million people went to Feedly. If that many people made the switch with little complaint, I trust that move, but are there any alternatives? Some are saying use Twitter to follow your favorite blogs, but I don't think most blogs I follow have a Twitter feed. (I've resisted getting a Twitter account for a long time, but I will if this is a good fix.) 

So the question is: why would Google shut down such a crucial tool as Reader? The official Google reason is because fewer and fewer people use Google Reader. That sounds pretty ridiculous, because there are still millions of people who like to follow blogs. It's illogical that Google would just abandon so many people when its goal is to own the market on these things. There must be more to the story. Some places have said Google is doing this to drive people to embrace Google+, but I don't see how that makes sense, because Google+ doesn't act as a reader. Others have said that Reader prevents people from visiting the actual website, which in turn doesn't allow advertisements on the site to be seen. This could be true, but then why invent Reader in the first place? After all, people will still visit the site if they want to read or comment on a specific article. So that's still not a good enough reason. 

Without Google Reader, I'm less inclined to even use Google products at all. I'd be more inclined to use Wordpress for blogging. I've never been interested in Google+, and Dropbox is more user friendly than Drive. So really the only thing left is Gmail and Google Search, but these could easily be replaced. I suspect many people feel the same way. Could the sun be setting on the Google Empire itself if it cannot "afford" to keep something like Reader alive?


Fernando said...

Dear Nick,
Dont you ever use your Blogger? I watch all of my favorite blogs using I check it everyday to see what they have posted. I have never used Google Reader and after checking what it is im not sure what is so useful about it. But yeah, I hope this helps :D
God bless you and thank you for your articles! :D

Devin Rose said...

Yes I switched to feedly after trying one or two others and finding them inscrutable.

I do think part of it is for G+ because it encourages bloggers to make a G+ badge and get their blog on the site.

They don't make money from it I'm sure so they probably wanted to find a way to dump it and get people using other stuff of theirs.

Nick said...


I do use Blogger, but I'm less inclined to stick with Google services without Google Reader.


I'm starting to like the feel and layout of Feedly. It is still taking time to get used to, but I like the functionality it gives. My main worry is how or where my feeds are being 'housed'.

Devin Rose said...


I think right now, Feedly just pulls directly from google reader, but before google reader's plug is pulled, feedly will migrate them all to its own servers (if it hasn't already). So who runs feedly? I don't know. But they now know what we read!


Nick said...

That was one of the disturbing things about Feedly is that you had to give them the green light to your Google account.

Just to be safe, I actually subscribed to another service in parallel with Feedly, in case Feedly tried something funny.

ALSO, I just used Google Takeout, which is a Google system that will provide you a file of your Feeds.