Google Reader, an online app that allowed you to read and be notified of updates to blogs like this, will close on July 1st. It’s unlikely that anyone reading this isn’t aware of that but just in case. Export your data now!
There are a number of alternatives to Google Reader, each one has it’s own quirks and advantages. Gamma Goblin has listed a few on his blog but I’ll recommend my favourite one, Feedly.
After the frankly stale and unmaintained user interface in Google Reader the UI in Feedly takes some getting used to. At first I hated it but in the last few months they’ve improved it. I could try and describe how they’ve changed it but I’m just a user of the service. I notice when things go wrong but when they work right I don’t notice. However, I was reminded by Joseph Scott that Feedly doesn’t have an export option so make sure you backup your data out of Google Reader or you won’t be able to try other services quite as easily as you can now.
Feedly is moving at a great pace. Make sure you follow their blog (in Feedly, or the WordPress app as it’s on WordPress.com!) for further updates.
Also make sure you subscribe to this blog if you haven’t done so already!
- You have a gmail account don’t you? Visit Google Reader now.
- Click on the “Add a Subscription” button.
- Type in the web address of your Twitter profile. Mine is http://twitter.com/donncha.
- Click Add.
- There is no #5.
Since Google Reader doesn’t have the 3,200 post limit that Twitter has you can always get access to your old tweets, even when you go over that limit. On the downside, your Twitter account can’t be private and Google will find out yet more about you (but they probably already indexed your Twitter account anyway so no loss there!)
Click on the “Show details” link above your currently selected blog in Google Reader and you get a nice attractive posting and reading frequency graph, as well as the old Subscriber numbers.
As you can see, I don’t read The Online Photographer as much as I’d like to!
One of the first things I did when I started using Google Reader was finding the bookmarklet to make subscribing to feeds easier. Unfortunately the first few times I used it I didn’t realise I had to click the “Subscribe” button in the Reader interface. It was hidden away in the top right of the page. I was too busy looking at the feed contents to notice it.
Tom and others have pointed out that Reader added a search feature but this “You are not subscribed yet” warning is a nice usability improvement that I haven’t seen anyone mention yet.