For the last eight years, I have done most of my blog reading on Google Reader.
But now Google is pulling the plug on Google Reader!
Today is the last day of its existence.
Tomorrow will be the end of Google Reader.
In the words of my favorite Monty Python sketch,
Google Reader has passed on! Google Reader is no more! It has ceased to be! It is expired and gone to meet its maker! It’s a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! It’s pushing up the daisies! It’s metabolic processes are now history! It’s off the twig! It’s kicked the bucket, it’s shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain, and joined the bleeding choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-FEED-READER!
If you use Google Reader, I hope you have found an alternative by now! If not, I have a few suggestions at the bottom of this post….
When I first found out Google was shuttering Google Reader, I was shocked, disappointed, and even a little upset. Of all the things for Google to shut down, why Google Reader? It couldn’t have been that expensive or difficult to maintain…
The reason I used Google Reader is because I read a lot blogs. I mean A LOT. Hundreds. This would be impossible to do without some sort of service like Google Reader which pulls all the blog posts together into one place and lets me know on one simple screen when new posts have been published from the various blogs I am interested in reading.
Of course, I don’t literally read every post from every blog I have subscribed to…. I treated my Google Reader page like my own personal newspaper. I decided which writers I wanted to write for my newspaper, and then subscribed to their blogs. When they wrote new articles, Google Reader would give me the title of their post (like a newspaper headline) and the opening line or two. I could quickly and easily scan through hundreds of articles and pick the 5-10 that sounded interested for me to read that day over a cup of coffee.
I not only read blogs about Scripture, church, and theology this way, but also obtained my world and local news, learned tips and tricks about blogging, gained insights into writing and publishing, and even subscribed to a few blogs which were purely for humor (you know, like the comic section of your newspaper).
So when Google announced they were closing Google Reader, it was like your favorite newspaper (if you still get one) announcing that they were going to stop publishing. How was I going to stay updated on all the blogs I read? How was I going to keep up with current events? How was I going to remember which blogs I was reading?
Anyway, I found two alternatives…. both of which you can use if you are a regular reader of this blog.
Get Email Updates
First, there are a few blogs which I read almost every time they post. For these, I went and subscribed to their blogs so that I would get regular daily email updates in my email inbox. The nice thing about doing this is that bloggers who offer email subscriptions often give “insider news” and special updates or offers to their newsletter subscribers. I often get free books this way and advance notices about special trainings or webinars that are helpful as an author and blogger.
If you would like to subscribe to my blog through email, I offer similar things to my newsletter subscribers. You can choose to get daily updates or a weekly summary of my blog posts. And just for signing up you get a FREE digital copy of Skeleton Church, and then every time I put out a new eBook, you get a free digital copy of that book as well.
In fact, I am only a couple of weeks away from putting out my next free eBook, so if you subscribe now, you will get two free eBooks in the span of a month or so.
If you have not yet subscribed to my email newsletter, do so today! It’s free, you get free eBooks, I never spam you or sell your email, and you can always unsubscribe at any time you want (though I don’t know why you would… ha!).
Google Reader Alternative
Not all blogs offer an email subscription service, and even if they did, I wouldn’t want to subscribe to hundreds of blogs by email. I already get well over 100 emails every single day, and I really don’t want hundreds more… I don’t mind getting emails from a few blogs that I really enjoy reading and which give me something in return for subscribing, but I simply cannot read every post from every blogger I am interested in, and definitely don’t need to be getting 500 emails a day….
Besides, I really liked my “newspaper” method of reading all the blogs that I had with Google Reader.
So I searched for a Google Reader alternative and found one. It is called Feedly.
Feedly is free, just like Google Reader was, and the layout and feel is quite similar to Google Reader (and in many ways better) and they make the transition from Google Reader to their service simple and easy. In just a few clicks of a button, I was able to transfer all my subscriptions over to the new service, and get back to reading all the blogs I am interested in, just as I did with Google Reader.
So if you have been using Google Reader and need a new Feed Reader, I highly recommend transferring over to Feedly. But you need to do it before Google Reader shuts down so that Feedly can transfer all your favorite blogs!
Don’t miss out on reading all your favorite blogs just because Google Reader is dying. Keep your subscriptions active by transferring over to Feedly.