Google Reader is shutting down, but these seven alternatives can help you stay up to date with your favorite feeds.
The Google Reader shut down is a complete drag, but there are plenty of alternatives to Google Reader if you want to stay up to date on all the blogs you love to read. Many options even allow you to import your feeds straight from Google Reader, so it’s easy to make the switch before Google Reader shuts down on July 1, 2013.
Here are my favorite options:
When Google first announced they were sending their feed reader our to pasture, the most common advice I saw was to switch to Feedly. Many people were already using this feed reader and for good reason: Feedly offers easy content sharing on social networks, several layout options, and apps/extensions to fit whatever browser or device you use. It takes a little time to get used to Feedly if you’re currently a Google Reader user, but once you get the hang of things, it’s pretty sweet.
NewsBlur is like Google Reader with a shot of espresso. It has a similar interface, so it’s an easy switch for Google Reader users, but it also has some extra features, like the ability to create a “blurblog” of the content you like best and want to share. The downside? The amount of feeds you can subscribe to is capped for free users and you can only see 10 new stories at a time. To get unlimited access, you’ll need to upgrade to premium, which costs $24 per year.
The Old Reader
Built specifically to replace Google Reader, The Old Reader is a great option if you want something as close to Google Reader as possible. On the downside, there are currently no mobile apps yet, but The Old Reader looks and functions so much like Google Reader that you might not care. You can even use many of the same keyboard shortcuts and it brings back the Google Reader function of allowing you to follow other users and subscribe to their feeds.
NetNewsWire has been around since 2002, and it’s still a favorite among Mac users. I’m a PC user myself, but from what I’ve heard from Mac fans, NetNewsWire is great if you want a really simple reader option, but it’s a little outdated if you’re looking for more bells and whistles.
Leaf is another option for Mac users. This isn’t a good feed reader for those of you who want something extremely similar to Google Reader, but it is a good choice if you’re looking for something a little different! Leaf displays feeds in an almost Twitter-stream way. Leaf also allows you to save to Readability, Instapaper or Pocket.
If you’re looking for lots of function and want a more professional feed reader that includes data, tracking, and brand monitoring options, check out NetVibes. This reader offers both free and premium services, and even if you’re a free user, there are lots of options to make this reader your own. Upgrade to premium and you have a complete tool for monitoring what’s happening online.
If you just have a handful of blogs you like to follow, don’t overlook Twitter as an option! You have to manually add feeds with this option, but I find it works really well to keep track of the 10-20 blogs I read most often. Here are my directions for turning Twitter into a feed reader.
Allison Boyer is the Online Education Coordinator for NMX University, where you can learn more about blogging, podcasting, web TV, and social business. She also runs the food blog The PinterTest Kitchen with her mom and sister.