What RSS reader are you using now that Google Reader is dead?

I’m curious about what RSS reader my readers are using now that Google Reader is dead?

I’m finding Digg coming up with interesting content. A good mixture of Digg’s legacy of original content, along with an RSS reader.

For looks for me, it’s got to be Feedly! I almost forgot about it, until the other day I was looking through my Lastpass database and came across it. Logged in, then thought, “Wow, this is sure pretty!”.

What are you using?

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Remember AOL? Today I found out their RSS Reader is great!!!

Many, many years ago (in internet time), I got my first computer with a modem! It seemed like the biggest deal on earth! There was this thing called the Internet that people were using to communicate without a phone! It seemed too good to be true. On top of that, you could find anything you wanted by searching on a website…I had a friend that had a spare computer he gave me, and he gave me a CD from AOL (America Online for those not keeping up…). Once I figured out how to install the software, and I got a local phone number to dial up to, I came across a flaw…There wasn’t enough time in the day to wait for anything to load in my browser! It looked something like this for lengthy periods of time…

half-loaded-jpeg

My conclusion…The internet sucked! Who would use this colossal waste of time? Then, my local cable provider came knocking with high speed internet, and for the last 18 years I’ve completely forgotten about AOL!

That is until today!

About a month ago I posted my feelings about Google Reader closing it’s doors forever. I mentioned that Digg was coming out with their own replacement, and expressed my excitement at the future of the RSS platform. Digg still needs some work, and I’ve found myself not using their reader as much as I used Google’s. Just for giggles, I tried to log back into Google Reader, and came across a page pointing you towards RSS alternatives. I happened to notice “AOL Reader” in the list and decided to check it out. Boy, was I ever pleasantly surprised! I imported my RSS feeds and was greeted with this…

aol_reader

A beautiful looking RSS reader full of the features that I am looking for! Multiple viewing formats, sorting by oldest and newest, sharing to Google+, Marking All Read options. I love it! As long as AOL stays in business, I am very happy to find a new home for all my content I follow out in the ether…

Check it out for yourself!

Digg Reader is out in the wild!

digg_reader

A few months back Google put the Vulcan Death Grip to their ultra efficient RSS reader known as Google Reader. It was a very sad day for people like me that use an RSS reader to get my chosen world news, up to date podcasts, and any updates on blogs that I follow.

Luckily, there has been an enormous outcry to try and save Google Reader! No, it didn’t help Google change its mind (they promise to add something to Google+ in the future), but one thing that it did was enable all the small competitors to attempt to attract the forlorn GReader users…

They have all been scrambling to come up with the amount of features and streamlined focus that Google had. If you have followed any of this yourself, you’ll already know that sites like Feedly, Press, theoldreader.com, and many many more have been working on creating a permanent RSS alternative. A surprise entrant into the fold was the old site Digg.com.

Digg has been working frantically under an incredibly short time line to try and partially mimic, and partially integrate the Google Reader experience!

So, I was excited that today I finally got my invite to Digg.com/reader! Above is my initial screenshot once all my subscriptions were imported.

I was introduced to a start up screen after clicking my invite code, to an import screen to import my Google Reader subscriptions. I could tell that there are still many little tweaks to come, as my import seemed to hang-up for over an hour. I finally got fed up with patiently waiting to start messing around in there, so I did a page refresh, and I was up and running.

The interface is nice and clean! I really like the look so far. You currently have two choices to read through your feeds. You have List Mode (as above), or Expanded Mode. I always stick to list mode so that’ll do just fine for me thanks…

There are a few things I find lacking…Firstly, I like to sort my content by Oldest First. Currently the only choice is Newest First! I hate that! That means that I may just never get to old blog posts unless I hunt around in my individual RSS feeds. I’m pretty sure they will add this soon, as so many users have asked for it, that it shows up in the FAQs only one day in.

One thing I really hope they fix is that if you find some content you want to share with others on your chosen Social Network, you can only select between Twitter and Facebook. What about the ultra slick Google+????It was one of my favourite ways of sharing content on my Google+ profile. I really hope this gets added soon! Hell, I can share content on my own tiny blog through a link on my site straight to Google+. You’d think Digg would realize they are catering to a huge new Google Reader crowd and would have had that feature added right away!

Overall, I’m happy to see Digg enter the RSS Reader game! I can only see it improving from here. 🙂

 

How do you promote your Blog? Does it payoff?

Word of Mouth
Image by Intersection Consulting via Flickr

I have been running my site for 4+ years now, and haven’t really made any serious attempt at self promotion. I have built my following by word of mouth, and showing up in Google searches. I am curious if people reached a critical mass at some point and some targeted promotion built up your visitors. I currently get between 2,000-3,000 visitors per month. Were you a small blog like mine at some point, and did something to break on through?

This last year I decided to use Twitter and Facebook as my main source of promotion. It brings in about 10-15% of my traffic. I am not a big fan of forum spam, or trying to get traffic via Digg or Reddit by posting links to my articles there. Most savy posters know blog spam and typically down vote the post anyway.

I run my blog via of WordPress.com, and have each post ‘publicize’ to Yahoo Updates, Twitter, and Messenger Connect, and then manually add links to Facebook. because I can’t seem to figure out how to auto-post to my blog Facebook page… It is nice that WordPress.com auto-publicizes my posts, but honestly, I don’t think I have EVER get traffic from Yahoo or Microsoft…I registered with Technorati a couple of years ago, but also don’t seem to get traffic from there. Various web-rings, same thing! I see a trend…I have messed around with Google Webmaster tools as well, but I’m not big enough for Google to really care about.

I know all the stuff about focusing on good content and doing regular posts, but I am looking to see if there are any other tools that other bloggers use to promote themselves!

I’d love to hear what you have to say. Don’t be afraid to leave a comment. 🙂

What Online Resources do you use to get Content for your Blog?

Infographic on how Social Media are being used...
Image via Wikipedia

Today I was thinking about content for my blog…I thought about what sources I use to collect articles and ideas. But, more importantly, how much of my time is weeding through duplicate data?

Currently I use Twitter as a way up keeping up to date with all the major news sites and blogs I enjoy. I also use it to build content for my site. I float between using Tweetdeck and Hootsuite to display my Twitter lists. I started sorting out the people I follow into various lists so I can get to articles quicker, and not get bogged down in the multitude of Digg and Reddit posts that I love to read for fun. I have a News list, a social media list, a friends list, a Linux list.

But I am also a Google Reader user. I have been using it for years now, and have amassed quite a lot of feeds. I love the ability to star an article to come back to later, email it to someone else, etc…

However, because I used it far before Twitter, I have the majority of my online content streaming through it. I am afraid to start removing sites that I now follow on Twitter…Twitter is far more efficient to stream through content, but I just don’t trust that websites post all their stuff on Twitter. I do for my own site NOW, but didn’t a few months back…What if I miss the best article ever? Can I take that risk?

So, I take twice the time to get through my stuff than I really should. I am curious as to what other people use to research content for their sites.

How do you stay up to date on world events, and things that interest you? What is your main source of content for your blog?