Google Reader Alternatives
As Jim Aley writes over on Businessweek, RSS fans are going through the the seven stages of grief over yesterday’s announcement that Google is pulling the plug on Google Reader.
The move comes July 1, so between now and then, info junkies are on the hunt for new readers. Here are some to explore as you get started:
- Feedly: Allows you to choose different types of layouts for your feeds (eg., magazine style) and then bubbles up content it thinks is most relevant to you. While created as a front-end that syncs with with Google Reader, the company announced that they’re in the process of cloning the Google API and all your feeds will seamlessly be transferred (and continue to work) as Google shuts down.
- Waurb: Similar to Feedly, Waurb digests your feeds, presents it back to you in an elegant layout while also calculating “which articles are worth reading with our clever little algorithim.”
- NetVibes: A honking “real-time monitoring” service (or dashboard) for feeds, social streams and more. Just make sure you chose the personal edition or you’ll be out $499 a month.
- NewsBlur: Created by a one man startup in San Francisco, this personal reader lets you train it to give you more of the stories you want, less of what you don’t.
- Tiny Tiny RSS: For those who want complete control and an open source solution installed on your own server.
- The Old Reader: Basically a clone of the “old” Google Reader, back before the company removed some features that the community loved. Currently in beta.
- Skimr: Available for the Web but optimized for mobile and tablets, Skimr is a very quick, text only feed app.
- Skim.me: Still in invite only mode, Skim.me’s premise is to shorten or lengthen your feed based on the amount of time you have at any given moment. Want things long, it will go long. Only have time for headlines and quick summaries, it can supposedly do that too.
Obviously, there are more. List your favorite alternatives in a reblog or drop us a note and we’ll add to this list.
Meanwhile, while panicky, there is a bright side to all this.
As Marco Arment points out, there’s been very little innovation in RSS desktop apps and sync platforms over the last ten years. There just wasn’t a sustainable model with Google becoming the de facto platform and giving it away for free. With Google Reader out of the way, and a niche but very deep audience for these apps and services, we may just see wonderful new innovations that have been a long time coming. — Michael
UPDATE: A ginormus list of readers, crowdsourced, Google spreadsheet style.
Image: Screenshot, Susie Cagle responds to me responding to Bitly’s Hilary Mason about the news that Google Reader is shutting down.