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. 🙂

 

Google Reader’s new revamp is causing some backlash.

Image representing Google Reader as depicted i...
Image via CrunchBase

Today Google followed up their recent updates with Google+ with the much talked about Google Reader revamp. It’s not been as smooth as they had hoped. There’s already a petition launched and a protest demanding the previous sharing features be brought back.

My initial thought was that people have far too much time on their hands to complain about ‘sharing features’ on the seldom heard Reader platform. Isn’t Google Reader just an RSS reader? A way to quickly scan story titles and read more efficiently?

I have been using Google Reader for years and absolutely love it! In fact I find it much more organized than Twitter and it’s easier to follow articles without all the chatter on Twitter. Not that it’s a bad thing to ‘talk’ to people out there. haha.

But I have never really used the social sharing features inside Google Reader. If I found an article interesting and wanted to share it, I would email the person I thought might like to read it, or I would add it to my Twitter feed, and lastly Reader gave me many of the topics I’ve written about on my blog. However, there are tons of people throughout the world that have been using it to circumvent censorship, communicate with the outside world and share stories from within totalitarian regimes.

With the removal of the current sharing features within Google Reader, and the only way to share this information being through Google+, Google has effectively silenced much of the free speech and sharing coming out of such countries as Iran.

Here is a bit about the backlash, and why it may be in Google’s interest to think twice before killing the social aspects of Google Reader…

Now that Google has officially switched to its new version of Google Reader, complete with Google+ integration, the company is facing the righteous fury of a social network it barely seemed to recognize: the Sharebros.

This small but maniacally dedicated community of Google Reader users was able to share stories and comments with each other until Monday, when the new version of Reader forced them to start using Google+. But the Sharebros are not taking the snub lying down.

via Google Reader Backlash: 10,000 Users Sign Petition to Save Old Version.

Google has been on fire with announcements! I’m Excited!

It seems like every couple of hours today one of the big tech blogs is reporting big news from the Google camp. If you’ve been following my tweets you can see my excitement!

Yesterday I mentioned that Google was going to allow their branded Google Apps accounts access to Google+. I like the move, but on it’s own it seems like no big deal.

But today I read far more around some of the big changes happening that make Google+ seem more attractive to me. Continue reading “Google has been on fire with announcements! I’m Excited!”

Does the Internet Fail at keeping us up to date on world events? Information overload?

Jian Ghomeshi hosting a live taping of his rad...
Image via Wikipedia

I was listening to an excellent CBC Radio program called Q with Jian Ghomeshi while driving in my car. They were debating the argument that Twitter is considered by some to be a news agency, and whether it was a better way at getting unbiased views on world events.

There was quite a difference of opinion as to whether getting tweets amounted to learning more about the world or if real News organizations were just using Twitter to get their stories out to people faster, and we weren’t really getting anyone other than mainstream media reporting anything of value. At the same time it was said that Twitter and Facebook are part of a social revolution and that it allows people to express themselves in ways they have never been able to. This is especially true for oppressive regimes where censorship and control of free speech have kept people fearful to speak up. But is this considered ‘real’ news? Are they two different things?

I struggle with all the streams of information I try to manage, and to find alternative prospectives on the world. It can be quite overwhelming.

I use Twitter as a fast and dirty way of keeping up on breaking news and follow interesting people. For breaking news I rely on the same sources as I’ve always done. CBC, BBC, Al Jazeera, CNN, etc…I try to add local media outlets but most of them are not on Twitter, or their reporters aren’t tweeting at a rate that makes me feel like I’m getting my news faster than hearing it from friends and relatives. I sort my Twitter stream into lists to try and manage what I am sorting through. Lists like News, Tech, Friends, Aggregators(for Digg & Reddit), and everyone-else.

I signed up for Google+ in hopes that it would be a place where all my friends, family, bloggers I follow, news agencies, and techies, would combine into a social and sharing hub. It hasn’t been that great so far. I post all my blog posts on there, and wait and wait for people I know to start using it. But alas, they are all still in Facebook. Sucks for me, as I just closed my account and really don’t trust the direction Facebook is going with controlling my information and data and who they might be sharing it with(advertisers and secret government agencies. Spooky). Google+ is the anti-social social network. Right now I see loads of content by Photographers and Tech Bloggers. News? Not so much.

I use Google Reader heavily to keep up to date on RSS feeds, and have recently started trying Feedly to make Google Reader a more magazine styled experience. I love Google Reader, but it seems slow to get me up to date stories. For instance, I have subscribed to my Twitter feed and see my tweets hours after I posted them. Why such a delay?

It is all too much…Do I really get any better perspective on the world than my dad who reads the local paper every morning, and watches the evening news? I essentially just get it faster(most of the time). I’m swamped with thousands of articles, headlines, and somewhat useless tweets to get to the same end. Is this quicker, or am I just far more in-efficient?

It might be time to claw back on all the people, blogs and RSS feeds and come up with a better way to streamline my online information.

Like Jian Ghomeshi said in the show today, everyone wants Twitter to become the best way to get our news. Fast, and to the point. But it somehow fails. Can an online service like Twitter, Google+ or Facebook be both a way to catch up on world events and be a way to have a social experience with people online?