Life Without Google Reader

With my usual impeccable timing, I wrote an article for the CBA small firm, solo and general practice newsletter encouraging lawyers to start using Google Reader – just before Google announced it was canceling the service.

Fortunately, there are several viable alternatives available, according to Canadian Lawyer‘s Danielle Lemon:

Since the pronouncement of Google Reader’s death sentence, blogs and web sites have helpfully offered lists of alternative RSS (really simple syndication) tools and news aggregators to replace Reader:

•    Feedly, a web-based RSS service, has had 500,000 new users sign up for its service in a week and is offering helpful migration tips to bewildered and grieving Google Readerites.

•    The Old Reader is catering to the most change-resistant of Google Reader users with a tool whose main claim to fame is that it is “just like the old Google Reader.”

•    Social news outfit Digg has immediately gone to work creating its own RSS reader, Digg Reader, which will “identify and rebuild the best of Google Reader’s features.”

•    The Online Journalism Blog created a spreadsheet weighing the pros, cons, features, and limitations of no less than 53 alternatives to Google Reader.

After I’d had a few days to mourn, I realized the death of my beloved Google Reader may, I daresay, be a blessing. It’s re-invigorated interest in a rather un-glamorous but oh-so-necessary technology (RSS), and got people thinking about the most useful, effective, and user friendly ways to aggregate content. It’s allowing users and developers alike to have conversations about what aspects of Google Reader they like and want to keep, what can be improved, and what features can be scrapped altogether in favour of something new.

Feedly lets you automatically migrate your Google Reader account, and has Android and iPhone apps available.  I signed up this morning, and so far it seems to be working well.

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